Air Cleaning House Plants

Yes, there are air cleaning house plants that do help to improve the air quality in our homes. This is especially true if we are living in a tightly sealed home.

NASA has done extensive research on house plants for use as potential air cleaners in space stations and other possible space uses. Their findings are that house plants do improve indoor air quality in some areas. Here's what was found...

Certain house plants were especially good at scrubbing the air of VOCs, off gases from carpeting, particle board and certain types of finishes. Some of the chemicals found to be absorbed were:

  • benzene
  • formaldehyde
  • trichloroethylene

One contaminate that plants were not able to absorb is particulate pollutants, such as tobacco smoke; although some of the harmful chemicals are no doubt reduced. Of course the the best reduction plan for cigarette smoke is to keep it out of the home.

Air Cleaning House Plants

House plants that were found to be best were tropical and subtropical variety, which grow in low light conditions on the forest floor. Thus these are well adapted for home conditions where poor lighting is often found.

The soil was also found to a contribute to air quality improvement due to the micro-organisms in it that help to absorb these pollutants as well. So it is recommended that the soil be kept clear of debris, so it can do its job.

So which plants made the list of best House Plants to Improve Indoor Air Quality?

  • Hedera helix English ivy
  • Chlorophytum comosum spider plant
  • Epipiremnum aureum golden pothos
  • Spathiphyllum`Mauna Loa' peace lily
  • Aglaonema modestum Chinese evergreen
  • Chamaedorea sefritzii bamboo or reed palm
  • Sansevieria trifasciata snake plant
  • Philodendron scandens `oxycardium' heartleaf philodendron
  • Philodendron selloum selloum philodendron
  • Philodendron domesticum elephant ear philodendron
  • Dracaena marginata red-edged dracaena
  • Dracaena fragrans `Massangeana' cornstalk dracaena
  • Dracaena deremensis `Janet Craig' Janet Craig dracaena
  • Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii' Warneck dracaena
  • Ficus benjamina weeping fig

To be effective you will need quite few plants. One 6-8 inch potted plant per 100 square feet is recommended. But why not at least start with a few of these air cleaning house plants? Not only will you breath a bit easier, they look nice too!

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