Houseplants Clean Your Home's Air

Houseplants clean up indoor air

The air in your house is full of tiny contaminants. Dust, molds, outgassing chemicals from your furniture and paint, small particles of who-know’s-what that the cat dragged in. It’s a mess.A mess you are breathing all day and all night. For people with allergies or other breathing issues, this can be a real problem. For anyone, cleaner air is better air.

You can buy an expensive air purifier to deal with this problem, or you can employ a natural strategy that really works: houseplants. For a bonus, caring for houseplants can make a great project for kids.

Sure, plants make your home more beautiful, but will they really clean the air?

The Wall Street Journal says they will. In an article on the cleaning power of plants, they write:

A growing body of global research is showing plants can reduce dust particles and contaminants, such as formaldehyde and benzene, that come from cigarette smoke, paint, furniture, building materials and other sources. Big growers such as Costa Farms, based in Goulds, Fla., and retailers Lowe’s and Home Depot now sell plants with tags promoting their air-cleaning abilities.

How do plants clean the air? They primarily do it be absorbing pollutants through their leaves. There are also small, helpful microorganisms living in the plant’s soil.

You don’t need to turn your home into a greenhouse to get the benefits. A few well placed plants can improve your air quality in the places you spend the most time. Experts estimate that half a dozen or so houseplants will improve the air quality in a 1,500 sq. foot home. Putting plants on your desk at work will improve the air you breathe at your desk.

My kids love plants, and are always pestering  me to get more for the house. They’re about to get their wish.

Photo: downing.amanda

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