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Best Houseplants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Published by Handy Work on

Many of us spend 90% of our time indoors. It is important to ensure that the air inside our homes is clean and healthy to breathe.

However, many of us don’t realize that the air inside our living space can be more polluted than the air outside. This is due to a number of factors including indoor toxins and pollutants from carpets, furnishings, cleaning products, paint and pesticides used in and around the home.

While it is impossible to completely eliminate indoor air pollution, you can improve your indoor air quality by introducing houseplants into your home. The article below will discuss which plants are best for improving indoor air quality.

Air Pollution and Houseplants

Houseplants
Photo by Free Photos on Pexels

Many of us have seen the positive effects that plants have on our environment. For example, trees and forests help clean our air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere.

However, you may not realize that indoor houseplants also have other health benefits by helping to clean indoor air as well! Houseplants remove pollutants and airborne chemicals through a process called phytoremediation.

Phytoremediation involves using certain types of plants to absorb toxins from soil or water (phyto = plant). The process is actually quite simple.

When a plant absorbs toxic chemicals, it removes them from circulation in the environment, which reduces overall exposure to humans and animals. There are two primary ways that houseplants remove toxins from the air:

Direct Absorption

This occurs when the toxins are absorbed by the plant’s leaves and stems.

Indirect Absorption

This occurs when the toxins are absorbed by the soil, which is then taken up by the roots and transported to the leaves.

When it comes to removing pollutants from indoor air, plants absorb many of the same chemicals that humans do. These include formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide and trichloroethylene.

In addition to absorbing these harmful chemicals, plants also release negative ions into the air. Negative ions have been shown to improve mood and increase alertness.

They also help neutralize positively charged airborne pollutants (like mold spores). Plants release negative ions through a process called ion exchange.

Ion exchange involves removing positively charged ions from an object (such as a leaf) and replacing them with negatively charged ions. Positively charged ions in the air (like those found in cigarette smoke) are attracted to negatively charged surfaces like leaves.

This attraction causes pollutants to stick to plant leaves instead of floating around in your home.

Direct vs Indirect Absorption

When choosing houseplants for improving indoor air quality, you should consider both direct absorption and indirect absorption methods. This is because each method removes different types of pollutants from your home.

Direct absorption is generally more effective at removing toxins from the air, but indirect absorption plants are usually better at removing allergens like mold spores.

Direct Absorption Houseplants

There are many types of plants that absorb toxins directly from the air. The following list contains some best direct absorption houseplants:

  • Aloe Vera
  • English Ivy
  • Golden Pothos
  • Snake Plant
  • Spider Plant
  • Peace Lily

Indirect Absorption Houseplants

In addition to absorbing pollutants directly from the air, plants can also absorb them indirectly from the soil. This method is particularly effective at removing mold spores and other allergens.

The following list contains some best indirect absorption houseplants:

  • African Violet
  • Gerbera Daisy
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Spider Plant

Other Factors to Consider

There are many other factors to consider when choosing houseplants for improving indoor air quality. Some of these include size, ease of care and aesthetics.

While all of these factors are important, there are a few that are particularly important for improving indoor air quality. The following list contains some of the most important factors to consider:

Size

Smaller plants are usually better at removing pollutants from the air. This is because they have a higher surface area to volume ratio.

However, you should avoid very small plants (like Aloe Vera) because they may not be able to absorb enough toxins to make a difference.

Ease of Care

Plants that require less care (such as succulents) are usually better at absorbing pollutants from the air. This is because plants that require more care often need more attention and maintenance, which takes time away from cleaning your home.

However, you should avoid plants that are difficult to grow indoors (like orchids). These plants may not be able to survive in your home and will die after a few months or years.

Aesthetics

Houseplants On Close-Up Look
Photo by Free Photos on Pexels

In addition to choosing plants based on their ability to clean the air, you should also choose them based on their aesthetics. Houseplants can provide both functional and aesthetic benefits in your home.

The following list contains some of the most beautiful plants for improving air quality in indoor spaces:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Snake Plant
  • English Ivy
  • Golden Pothos
  • Spider Plant
  • Peace Lily

Indoor air pollution is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world. While it is impossible to completely eliminate indoor air pollution, you can improve your indoor air quality by introducing plants into your home.

The best plants for improving indoor air quality are those that absorb toxins directly from the air (like Aloe Vera) and those that absorb them indirectly from the soil (like African Violets).

These plants are best at removing pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide and trichloroethylene from your home. In addition to absorbing these harmful chemicals, plants also release negative ions into the air.

Negative ions have been shown to improve mood and increase alertness. They also help neutralize positively charged indoor air pollutants (like mold spores).

If you want to learn more about houseplants for improving indoor air quality or want to know which houseplants are best for improving indoor air quality in your specific situation, you can read more similar articles about houseplants and other interesting articles on HandyWork Blog.


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