Many posts on this blog focus on improving the air quality in your home. We do all we can to ensure total home comfort with regular cleaning, upgrades and repairs to your system, but, along with this regular maintenance, you might also consider reaching out to mother nature for a helping hand when it comes to improving the air quality in your home.
We would like to believe it’s not true, but the air in our home can contain mold, dust mites, radon (from rocks below the foundation or even granite countertops) and volatile organic compounds such as benzene and formaldehyde. Ongoing exposure to these pollutants can negatively impact our health. However, many plant varieties have been proven to naturally purify the air and compliment a good home comfort system.
Should you decide to tackle your home’s air quality from the ground up, here’s a list of five air-quality conscious plants:
The garden mum is a relatively inexpensive plant, and it’s an air-purifying champion. Specifically, the garden mum is one of the best house plants for removing benzene, a solvent commonly used in inks, oils, paints, plastics and rubber. Benzene is also used for manufacturing detergents, pharmaceuticals and dyes.
This purifying plant is effective for removing xylene, a solvent found in many common household products such as paints, lacquers, adhesives, rust preventers and thinners. Xylene is even found in permanent magic markers. However, if you have pets, you may want to consider an alternative houseplant, as Dracaena is toxic to cats and dogs.
A great pet-friendly plant is bamboo palm. This palm variety can grow up to 12 feet tall and is a superstar when it comes to filtering formaldehyde, a pollutant found in virtually all indoor environments. If your home was built prior to the 1970s, you may find foam insulation containing formaldehyde in your basement, crawl spaces or unfinished attic spaces. Formaldehyde is also found in particle board or pressed-wood products, and household basics such as grocery bags, waxed papers, facial tissues and paper towels.
Spider plants are also very effective for removing formaldehyde, and as one of the easiest plants to care for, they are a great choice for homeowners who don’t possess a green thumb. Spider plants can help remove the formaldehyde resins found in common household cleaning agents as well as floor covering, carpet backing and permanent-press clothes.
Peace lilies are easy to grow, and they are one of the best house plants for removing trichloroethylene, making them extremely beneficial for your home. Trichloroethylene is a commercial product with a variety of industrial uses, specifically in the metal degreasing and dry-cleaning industries. Trichloroethylene is also used in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes and adhesives.
Many of these houseplants are easy to care for, but make sure you take into account your plant’s specific needs when placing a plant in your home.
According to Esposito Garden Center, when picking the right plant for your home, take note of the plant’s individual light, temperature, humidity and water requirements; this information can usually be found on the plant’s label. A well-rounded fertilizer will also help keep your living “air-purifiers” happy, healthy and looking fresh.
In today’s world, it’s impossible to completely eliminate exposure to these common pollutants. But, a quick trip to your local garden center, combined with regular maintenance on your home comfort system, could prove to be a breath of fresh air. If you have any questions about your home’s air quality, contact McCoy’s Heating & Air Conditioning at 731-668-7492.