Have you ever considered how much time you spend indoors? According to the EPA, Americans spend an average of 93% of their lives indoors. This is due to living, studying, and working inside buildings. We also spend a lot of our free time indoors watching TV or using our computers and smartphones.
This makes it especially important to have good air quality indoors. The air in many buildings and homes can actually be more polluted than the air outside. This is due to off-gassing from building materials, furniture, and carpeting as well as dust and mold spores.
There’s a ton of research on the benefits of indoor plants for cleaning the air in buildings. Plants take carbon dioxide out of the air and release oxygen through photosynthesis. They also absorb harmful compounds like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia, and nitrogen oxide, which are released by furniture and other household items. NASA did a study that identified 50 houseplants that do a good job at removing these toxins from indoor air.
Researchers at NASA found that having just one houseplant per 100 square feet can significantly improve indoor air quality. Plus, caring for plants is proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and even improve concentration.
Plants also act as natural humidifiers and can reduce dry skin, sore throats, and colds. Some plants, like ferns and spider plants, release moisture into the air to prevent dry nasal passages.
In addition to being able to breathe easier by adding houseplants to your home or office, you may also lower your stress levels and boost your mood. A study conducted by Washington State University showed that adding plants to hospital rooms reduced patient anxiety levels by up to 12% in comparison with rooms without plants.
Lower Stress Levels
Studies have shown that having plants at home leads to lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone – and thus helps decrease stress levels. If you have trouble sleeping at night because of stress or anxiety, try placing a plant in your bedroom as it has been proven to lower stress levels.
Moreover, plants will help keep your mind clear and focused while you work. Research shows that people who work in an office with plants are more productive than those who don’t have plants on their desks.
Here is a list of indoor house plants that will improve your air quality and reduce stress levels:
- Spider Plants: This is one of the easiest houseplants to care for, and it removes the most amount of chemicals from the air.
- Aloe Vera: This plant is great to have around the home because of its healing properties. It helps with skin conditions and reduces indoor pollution.
- Peace Lily: This beautiful flower has been proven to remove formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia from the air.
- Bamboo Palm: This purifies air by removing toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.
- Rubber Plant: Rubber plants remove formaldehyde from carpeting, furniture, or grocery bags.
- Cornstalk Dracaena: This plant removes harmful toxins from paint and furniture.
How Plants Clean the Air
Houseplants do an amazing job of cleaning indoor air because they absorb pollutants through their leaves and roots and convert them into nutrients. You can consider this process a form of biological purification. The plants trap particles in the soil or bark, and enzymes actually break down volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into carbon dioxide, water, and other molecules. Some plants are better than others at filtering toxins from the air, so you will want to choose carefully if you are concerned about indoor air pollution.
How Many Plants Should You Have?
How many plants would you need to keep the air in your home clean? There is no exact number that works for everyone. One to two plants per room would be a good start. If your room still feels stuffy, add a couple more.
Let the Professionals Help
House plants are great, but they can’t do the job alone. For whole-house cleaning, contact Controlled Climate Services for systems that improve indoor air quality. We have air purifiers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers to clean the air and reduce the pollutants that trigger allergies and asthma. We also offer comprehensive heating and cooling services that include installation, maintenance, and repair. Contact us today for a solution to dirty air in your Kennesaw, GA home.