Using houseplants to battle in-home air pollution is an excellent way to protect your family’s health, since the average North American spends more than 80 percent of the day indoors. True, we can invest in air purification and filtration systems, but why not also consider houseplants, which we know clean the air of carbon dioxide and are aesthetically pleasing? The added value is their ability to also remove the following VOCs (volatile organic compounds):
- Benzene is commonly found in inks, glues, paints, plastics, laundry detergent and carpeting. These are a few of the many substances that are contained in a typical home’s building materials or household products.
- Formaldehyde is common in bathrooms in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products, as well as in garages due to car exhaust, plywood, particleboard and foam insulation.
- Toluene and xylene, used in manufacturing leather, rubber, printing, lacquers and varnishes.
- Trichloroethylene may be brought home with your dry cleaning and in furniture.
Among the best houseplants researchers have discovered is the peace lily, which requires little more than shade and watering once a week. Here we’ve compiled a short list of other easy-to-care-for and cost-effective houseplants that have been proven to refresh indoor air:
- Aloe vera is a toxin-ingesting powerhouse. The bonus with this plant is its healing qualities, so it’s excellent to have on a nearby sunny kitchen window ledge.
- Mother-in-law’s tongue (snake plant) is great for removing pollutants in a steamy, shadowy bathroom.
- Bamboo palm is one of the top performers and does an excellent job of refreshing toxic air off-gassing in a shady living or dining room.
- Devil’s ivy, which will thrive in the dark, does well even if kept in your garage.
- Azalea beautifies and refreshes air in cool, bright places such as a sunny half basement.
- Spider plant is a multipurpose plant that can be put to work refreshing air almost anywhere in your home.
Improving your home’s air quality with houseplants is one way to breathe easier. For more ways, please contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the Alton, Bethalto, Edwardsville, Collinsville and Staunton areas since 1953.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Alton, Glen Carbon, Highland, Greenville, and Troy, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about houseplants and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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