Do Plants Help Indoor Air Quality

In 1989, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published a study claiming that plants have a positive impact on increasing indoor air quality. The researchers brought in common, popular houseplants, such as snake plants and peace lilies, to see if they can act as natural purifiers. The researchers found that the presence of these plants reduced volatile organic compounds (VOCs), like benzene or formaldehyde, which are certain types of air pollutants.

The Story Is More Complicated

The real story, however, is much less certain. While certainly, plants may help, the researchers conducted these experiments in controlled, plexiglass chambers the size of boxes. Our homes are far from these regulated chambers. In reality, good ventilation systems, which exchange indoor and outdoor air continuously, accounts for VOC removal in practice. It turns out, that while plants can improve indoor air quality, they are no substitute for quality air conditioning and ventilation systems because they simply filter too slowly. We at KW Lang Mechanical can install your air quality systems in Cleveland and across Northeast Ohio.

Plants Help, but They Cannot Substitute Quality Air Conditioning

So, do plants help improve air quality? In theory, they do. However, in real-life, their effects are very limited. An Environmental Protection Agency reviewer on the NASA study said that to achieve the same level of VOC reduction in a typical home, you would need 680 plants. If you want to improve air quality, there is simply no substitute for a quality air conditioning system that brings in the fresh air and drives away toxic VOCs. While your trusty cactus or fern may help improve air quality in your home by a bit, do not expect it to be a game-changer.

KW Lang Mechanical has proudly served customers across Northeast Ohio since 1927. We offer award-winning heating, cooling and green technology services. We can handle the complete project for our customers, from concept to design to installation. We have an A+ rating with the BBB to back up our claims. Contact us today for more information!

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