Did you know the air inside your home is probably more polluted than outside?
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that on average many common pollutants are 2-5 times higher indoors compared to outdoors. And keeping things squeaky clean could be adding to the problem.
When a home is airtight it improves energy efficiency, but on the flip side it can also make the air inside stale. Cleaning products, aerosols, dust, dander, paint, carpet and a number of other things affect the air quality inside. If the doors and windows stay shut those pollutants just continue to accumulate and may contribute to health problems for the people who live there.
In areas like Calgary, especially if your home is in high traffic or near a busy construction area, keeping windows and doors open just isn’t feasible during certain times of the year. So what’s a homeowner to do?
NASA faced that same problem when sending astronauts to live in space stations for months on end. They certainly can’t open doors and windows up to air out the space station. In addition to cleaning out air filters with specialized vacuums, NASA found plants also help clean the air.
In this article, we will discuss how plants purify the air in your home and which plants are the best at doing so!
HOUSEPLANTS ARE NATURAL AIR PURIFIERS
How plants purify air has been studied quite a lot. Plants absorb air pollutants through their leaves and roots, effectively removing harmful compounds from the air. NASA’s Clean Air study also found some plants are more effective at removing pollutants than others.
We thought we could share our findings here. Put a few of these plants around your home and notice the positive effects on your breathing!
Few plants are as good at purifying the air as peace lilies, and luckily they are very easy to take care of!
Peace lilies can remove five major toxic agents out of the indoor air. Those toxins include formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene. These toxins have been known to contribute to irritation in the throat and lungs, reduced red blood cell count, headaches, dizziness and much more.
Peace lilies are a nice, minimalist plant with a huge range of health benefits and definitely one of our top recommendations to have in your home!
In addition to peace lilies, the chrysanthemum is the only other plant known to remove all five major toxins. It’s beautiful pink colour can also add some life to your home while cleaning the air!
Just keep in mind chrysanthemums are toxic to mammals if any part of the plant is consumed. If you have pets be careful where you put chrysanthemums.
This ivy that’s commonly found creeping up exterior walls is among the best pollutant removers. It’s been shown to remove formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene from the air.
It is also a very adaptable plant in terms of looks. Often people choose to create a wall entirely covered by this deep green ivy, but you can also grow it in a pot if you prefer a smaller plant in your home.
VARIEGATED SNAKE PLANTS
The reptile may make your skin crawl, but variegated snake plants are a welcome addition to the home. The long, tall leaves are great at absorbing formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene.
This plant is also great for adding a variety of green colour into your home. It’s a very aesthetically pleasing, yet minimalist option and can grow quite large if you let it!
This evergreen tree offers year-round air purification. Of all the dracaena varieties, it’s the best at removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. It can also remove benzene toxins as well.
This is a great option for individuals that want colour in their home, but do not want a variety of flowers. This plant brings deep reds, greens and yellows together, while still having a rougher, minimalist feel.
Orchids are known for their beautiful coloration, but there’s something else that makes them special. Instead of putting them on display in the living room, orchids are welcome addition in the bedroom because they purify the air at night. They are most known for reducing levels of xylene and formaldehyde from the air.
You will be able to sleep well knowing that the air surrounding you while you sleep is actively being purified if you have orchids near!
OTHER POLLUTANT-CLEANING PLANTS
to consider moving indoors include:
- Cornstalk Dracaena
- Barberton Daisies
- Broadleaf Lady Palm
- Flamingo Lily
- Devil’s Ivy
- Weeping Fig
- Bamboo Palm
- Chinese Evergreen
- Spider Plant
- Kimberly Queen Fern
- Boston Fern
- Dwarf Date Palm
If you’re moving to a new home it’s a great time to consider how houseplants can be used to purify the air. NASA suggests adding at least one of the houseplants above for every 100 square feet.
We hope that you found this article helpful and feel inspired to add some more greenery to your home!
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