People are spending more time inside their homes in today’s world, so indoor air quality is becoming more of a concern. In addition to regularly changing your HVAC filters and cleaning well, indoor plants can help with the air quality inside your home. When indoor air quality is poor, this could increase your risk of allergies and respiratory issues. If someone in your home already has these, their symptoms could worsen. Knowing the right plants and how to properly utilize and care for them can have a noticeable impact on your home’s indoor air quality.
What Is Air Pollution?
Understanding indoor air pollution is the first step to improving the air quality inside your home. There are several pollutants that can contaminate your home’s air.
Volatile organic compounds are common and come from household items, such as cleaning products, building materials and your furniture. Many indoor paints can also contain these compounds. When this pollutant is present, it can cause eye irritation, headaches and respiratory issues.
Mildew and mold are not uncommon in a home. This is especially true if you have poor ventilation or areas where moisture can get in, such as cracks in your foundation. Both of these can release mycotoxins and allergenic spores.
You surely have at least one fuel-burning appliance in your home, such as a furnace, hot water tank or stove, that requires gas to work. These can emit nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide.
Particulate matter can get in every time you open a window or door. This includes things, like pollen, pet dander and dust. If someone has asthma or allergies, this pollutant can aggravate their symptoms.
Radon is another pollutant that you do not hear too much about. It often comes from the ground and can seep into your home. It is the most common cause of lung cancer.
Improving Air Quality with Plants
Plants clean the air, allowing them to naturally mitigate pollution inside your home. There are several ways that plants accomplish this. The photosynthesis process involves absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and then releasing oxygen. This helps to cleanse the air and make it more rich in oxygen.
Plants provide natural air filtration. The right plants will absorb volatile organic compounds and harmful chemicals from the air and break them down. The soil these plants are in has microorganisms and plant roots that are important for this process.
Transpiration is another process in indoor air purification. The leaves of the plants have tiny openings that release water vapor. This works to increase humidity, which helps to reduce airborne pollutant concentration in the air.
The soil that you use for your indoor plants contains various microorganisms. These help to decompose some pollutants that are common in your home’s air.
Best Plants for Indoor Air
When it comes to indoor air purification, not all plants are created equal. To get the most benefit, there are some specific plants that you should consider placing in your home.
The Peace Lily is an elegant plant with a flowering element that adds some elegance to your home. It is effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde and ammonia from the air.
Aloe Vera can help with a few things in your home. It is good for removing benzene and formaldehyde from the air in your home. It is also useful for minor skin irritations and burns, making it a natural source of first aid.
The Spider Plant is easy to care for, and it is very resilient. It helps to remove xylene and formaldehyde from the air.
The Snake Plant is low maintenance. It is the plant many people choose for air purification since it helps to remove benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
The Rubber Plant is popular in homes due to its deep green leaves and ease of maintenance. It helps to remove formaldehyde and other airborne toxins.
English Ivy is a common choice among people suffering from allergies. This is due to its ability to reduce airborne allergens and mold.
The Boston Fern helps to increase humidity levels in your home. It is also helpful for removing formaldehyde and xylene from the air.
The Bamboo Palm is a plant with a tropical flair. It helps to remove formaldehyde from the air in your home.
Maintain Your Indoor Plants
Your plants will be the most effective in improving your indoor air quality when you care for them properly. Get to know your plants and what they need.
Following are some basic care tips you can use to keep them in excellent condition:
You want to water your plants to their exact needs. You can provide too much or too little water. Keeping an eye on the moisture level of the soil will help you to water it on time.
Consider the light needs of your plants. Adequate light is necessary for most plants to thrive. Because of this, you will want to place most of them near a window, but check their light needs first to be sure.
Fertilization is important for indoor plants, but you want to ensure that you are fertilizing them at the right times. Most plants require some fertilization only when they are in their active growing season. Create a schedule based on this so you are fertilizing at the right time.
Humidity is another consideration for your indoor plants. If your home tends to be dry, you might want to add a humidifier to the room where your plants are. Pay special attention to this during the cold months when the weather tends to be drier.
Make sure to groom your plants regularly. This involves removing any yellowing or dead leaves from your plants. This helps to enhance your home’s air quality by encouraging healthy plant growth.
You want to keep an eye on your plants for diseases or pests. The signs are usually specific to the plants that you have. You can trim away areas that are showing signs of diseases or pests.
Indoor Plant Considerations
Before you commit to a plant, you should make sure that no one in your home will have any allergy issues with it. For example, if someone is allergic to a Peace Lily or Fern, they might experience respiratory symptoms. Make sure that any pets in your home will not suffer from any plant-related allergies.
You should also consider the maintenance needs of the plants that you choose. Many are rather easy to maintain, but always make sure that you can keep up with them before bringing them into your home.
When you plan properly, indoor plants can make a noticeable difference in the indoor air quality of your Dixon home. Once our team of professionals helps you sort out your home’s indoor air quality, we can help with other tasks, too. No matter the time of year, we can aid you in keeping your home comfortable by assisting with your heating and cooling systems. We can also help with any electric needs that you might have. Want to learn more about indoor air quality? Read here to up your IAQ during allergy season.
Contact Greiner Heating, Air, and Electric today to talk to us about the air quality in your Dixon home.