There’s nothing like indoor plants to help cheer us up through the gray days of winter. But it turns out that indoor plants aren’t just good for decoration. They can actually improve the air we’re breathing, particularly in the winter when the house is shut up to keep the heat in and it becomes stuffy and stale.
Read on for how to improve indoor air quality with indoor plants.
How Plants Clean Air
Research from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration suggests that plants can help clean the air in a home by absorbing gases through the pores on leaves. Plants take in gases, which include carbon dioxide needed for photosynthesis, but also formaldehyde, benzene and other so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs enter our homes through a variety of means:
- textiles and carpet
- household cleaning chemicals
- cigarette smoke
- pressed wood products
- dry cleaning solvent
VOCs can trigger numerous health problems, from asthma and allergies, to chronic bronchitis and even cancer.
Choosing Indoor Plants
While all leafy plants help purify the air, some do a better job than others. So here are three indoor species you might want to add to your home.
Pothos. (Epipresmun aureum). Pothos has been used as an indoor plant for many decades. It is highly toxic, so put it where children and pets can’t reach it. Avoid overwatering and direct sunlight. It roots easily by putting cuttings in a glass of water.
Boston Fern. (Nephrolepsis exaltata). Another traditional favorite, Boston fern is a champion at removing formaldehyde, which is off-gassed by pressed wood products. They like to stay moist, so you may need to mist them and keep soil evenly watered. Also, feed weekly in growing season.
English Ivy. (Hedera helix) English ivy, which also removes formaldehyde, is less fussy than Boston Fern. It likes to climb so can be used in topiary and enjoys partial sun, as well as occasional misting and watering through winter.
For more on indoor plants and improving your indoor air quality, contact Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273.
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