potted plants near window in house
February 11, 2021

Interest in indoor air quality has shot up over the past year, as people are paying more and more attention to pollutants and health hazards in the air around them. Unsurprisingly, many Central Pennsylvania homeowners are looking for fast, simple, and cost-effective solutions that will help keep them safer and healthier in their homes.

But not every DIY solution to cleaner indoor air is worth buying into. Candles, for example, might make you forget about an unpleasant odor in your home, but all they do is cover it up—they don’t solve the problem.

One of the most common myths we hear about from homeowners and see circulating online is that indoor plants will help clean the air in your home. You may have even heard there’s a NASA study backing it up! It sounds impressive, but today we’re going to debunk this theory with a dose of reality.

Can Air-Purifying Plants Make a Difference in Your Home?

If you’ve come across some blogs claiming that buying a few extra houseplants will remove air pollutants and make your indoor air clean and healthy, they likely mentioned a NASA clean air study from 1989 showing that houseplants can remove VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, from the air.

VOCs are chemicals emitted from a number of household products, including shampoo, cleaning products, and paint. And while the NASA study is correct that plants do absorb VOCs, this information is often used without providing proper context.

First, the NASA study was conducted in a completely airtight environment, and a home is far from airtight, with air leaks, windows, doors, and more. But second, and most importantly, even the most effective household plants don’t absorb anywhere near enough VOCs to make a genuine difference in your home’s air quality. You’d need thousands of plants in a home before you saw any meaningful change in the VOC levels in your air.

So How Can I Actually Improve the Air Quality in My House?

If houseplants don’t work, then what does? When it comes to the air quality of your home, it’s much better to rely on tried and true indoor air quality solutions from trained and certified building professionals. 

The best way to address IAQ problems in your home is not by covering up the problem, but by finding the underlying issue and addressing it. Air pollutants in your home aren’t just limited to VOCs—they can also include mold, pet dander, dust mites, and more—and for higher quality air in your home, you’ll want a combination of air purification and filtration measures along with home performance upgrades like:

Schedule Indoor Air Quality Testing with Energy Smart Today

If you’re concerned about the possibility that you’ve been living with unhealthy air in your home, get in touch with Energy Smart Home Improvement today to schedule an appointment for indoor air quality testing. Using sophisticated air quality monitoring equipment, we’ll be able to tell what, if any, air pollutants are most prevalent in your home, like:

  • Carbon monoxide

  • Dust, pollen, and smoke

  • Harmful chemicals and VOCs

  • Mold and moisture

  • Excess humidity

Using the results of our testing, we’ll give you our recommendations for solutions that will help create a healthier indoor environment for your family.

For air quality results you can rely on, trust your home with the IAQ professionals. Call 717.258.6574 or contact us today to schedule indoor air quality testing with our team.

Houseplants are nice, but they won’t clean up your air.

Luckily, Energy Smart is here to help!


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