Indoor Plants: Giving Homes Fresh Indoor Air

indoor plantsPoor indoor air quality may have negative effects on your health. You may suffer from a variety of health problems from irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat to serious problems, like respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. The effects may vary depending on your exposure to pollutants.

One of the sources of poor indoor air quality is central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices. adds that home humidifiers create a better environment, making it less likely for you to develop viral infections.

Another way to improve indoor air quality is by using indoor plants. They don’t only enhance the aesthetic of your interior, but they may also purify the air in your home.

Plants and Indoor Air Quality

When you buy houseplants, it’s like having a natural air purifier. Houseplants can clean the air of carbon dioxide.

Citing a study conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) expounds that various plants may have the ability to clear the air from the common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These include:

  • Benzene – this is a type of irritant and can possibly be a carcinogen. Inhaling this compound can cause you dizziness, euphoria, headache, respiratory diseases, and more. This compound is present in petroleum-based indoor coatings, oils, paints, and cleaning solutions among others.
  • Formaldehyde – exposure to this pollutant can cause watery eyes, wheezing, and nausea. This is carcinogenic to humans, as well. This compound is common in all indoor environments because a variety of products use it. For example, urea-formaldehyde foam insulation uses this compound as well as paper products, like waxed paper, grocery bags, and facial tissues.
  • Toluene – low doses of this compound can cause sleepiness, weakness, confusion, and others. Meanwhile, high doses might cause lightheadedness, unconsciousness, and even death. This compound is typically present in adhesive, disinfectants, printing ink, and others.
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The study suggests that you should use 15 to 58 houseplants in six- to eight-inch diameter containers to enhance the air quality of a 1,800-square-foot house.

Ideal Indoor Plants to Use

Some plants have more abilities than others to clean the indoor air. You should consider incorporating some of these plants into your home to give it not only cleaner, safer air but also energy.

  • Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) – this types of plant is easy to maintain, and it fits bright interiors. These bold plants can be an interesting accent piece to a room. With proper care, you can keep these plants indoors for up to 10 years.
  • Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) – these plants feature broad, dark green, fan-shaped foliage connected on tall stalks. If you want to add an oriental appeal or elegance to your interior, these plants are ideal.
  • Rubber plant (Ficus robusta) – these plants can tolerate dim lights and cool temperatures. They are also excellent in removing air pollutants, like formaldehyde, from any indoor environment.
  • Ficus Alii (Ficus macleilandii Alii) – this is another ideal plant for eliminating formaldehyde. It’s easier to care for compared to other varieties. You can choose from three sub-varieties, such as a bush form, a braided form, and the standard tree form.

Indoor air quality is crucial to your health. Although there are other ways to clean indoor air, using plants also add decorative factor and provide other benefits to health.