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Purifying Household Air: Which Plants Work Best?

Homeowners who enjoy gardening and the beauty that plants bring to an indoor environment can use air purifying plants to decorate and clean the air at the same time. These plants are among the best at removing the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that come from common cleaning products, fresh paint, new carpeting and furniture, shower curtains and even dry cleaning.

Some of the best air purifying plants include:

  • Spider plant
  • Boston fern
  • English ivy
  • Areca Palm
  • Golden pothos
  • Aloe vera
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Snake plant
  • Marginata (dracaena)
  • Peace lily

Of all these plants, the peace lily removes the most airborne toxins and is easy to grow even under low-light conditions. However, if you have pets or young children in your home, be sure to check with a local florist, plant expert or a trusted website before bringing any of them indoors; some are poisonous when ingested.

However, air purifying plants will take you only so far in the goal to improve indoor air quality. The U.S. EPA reports that indoor air can be the most polluted you breathe, especially if your home is airtight.

The air filter for your HVAC system will remove some of the airborne particulates, but it won’t remove toxic gases. If anyone in your home has respiratory problems, you may benefit from a whole-house air cleaner that will trap smaller particles, including viruses and bacteria. Some of these systems also use components that remove the VOCs from the air.

Another approach to cleaner indoor air is to install a ventilation system that works with your HVAC system to bring in fresh air to dilute the harmful gases found indoors. These systems, energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) and heat recovery ventilators (HRVs), are engineered to transfer the energy from the outgoing air to the incoming air, so that you’re not losing the thermal energy of the air you’ve paid to condition.

For more information about air purifying plants and the best ways to achieve healthy air indoors, contact All Temp Air Conditioning & Heating. We’ve provided trusted HVAC services for Charlotte and Harrisburg for more than 28 years.



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