Indoor air pollutants are among the top 5 risks to public health.
You might think the air in your home is clean, but you could be wrong. Stagnant indoor environments create the perfect breeding ground for pollutants to build up in amounts greater than what is generally safe for humans to breathe. These contaminants, which are commonly found in living and working places without proper ventilation can cause what is known as “sick building syndrome,” resulting in headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye, ear, and nose irritation. So, what can you do to improve the quality of your air and combat these unpleasant symptoms?
Most people spend at least 90% of their time indoors, so air quality is crucial. A variety of toxic compounds like formaldehyde are emitted from furnishings, upholstery, and cleaning products. Pollen, bacteria, and other outdoor air contaminants can also make their way into buildings, remaining trapped in small or poorly ventilated areas.
There is an easy way to address these harmful elements in a natural and cost-effective way. Plants are able to naturally purify the air and have been proven to reduce air particulates. Plants in bloom, however, might contribute compounds to the air, so be sure to avoid them.
How Do Houseplants Clean the Air?
Plants can absorb the particulates from the air as they take in carbon dioxide, which is processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. Additionally, microorganisms associated with potted plants are present in the soil and are responsible for a large art of this cleaning effect.
Which Plants Are Best for My Home?
If you are worried about having a black thumb and not being able to properly care for a plant in your home, there are plenty of plants that are easy to care for and incredibly difficult to kill. Here is a list of some plants you can add to your home without much fuss or maintenance:
Spider Plant: These are some of the easiest plants to grow and, therefore, a great choice for beginners. This particular plant enjoys bright and indirect sunlight.
Dracaena: With over 40 different varieties available, the dracaena provides a lot of options, making it easy to choose one that is fit for your home. If you have pets, you will want to select a different plant since these are toxic to cats and dogs.
Ficus or Weeping Fig: This low maintenance plant can thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. You should also allow the soil to dry out between watering.
Boston Fern: This plant needs to stay moist, but it is still pretty easy to grow. If you forget about watering it, just give it a good soak once a month.
Snake Plant: If you are truly in doubt of your abilities to keep a plant alive, this might be the one for you. It is one of the most difficult ones to kill and, although it occasionally needs water, it prefers drier conditions and some sun.
Bamboo Palm: This plant is especially killer when it comes to filtering out formaldehyde. It thrives in full sun or bright light.
Aloe Vera: Lots of positive health claims have been made about aloe vera, but it is also an easy plant to care for. The liquid it releases has been said to contain vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Air Filteration Systems
Air filtration systems have been around for quite some time, but continue to change as new innovations arise and bigger demands for improved air quality are made. Houseplants can greatly improve the quality of your air, in addition to having a proper air filter. Without an air filter, you will likely notice a significant decrease in the quality of your air and even a rise in energy bills.
How is this possible? An air filter collects particles and, as they build up, they clog the fibers and decrease the air flow. That means your HVAC system will work harder, leading to a rise in heating and cooling bills.
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