Outdoor air pollution has grabbed headlines for decades, but indoor air quality has only become a concern more recently. Since much time is spent indoors, especially in the colder months, the quality of the air inside your home is very important.
While a good air filtration system can do the most to remove indoor air pollutants, common household plants can play a beneficial role as well. Though they can’t process as much air as a home HVAC system, plants can reduce some harmful compounds that many home air filtration systems can’t. In particular, plants help filter volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, which have been linked to health issues such as asthma, nausea and cancer.
All plants filter the air to some extent, but studies have shown that varieties such as the ones below are the most effective.
- Aloe vera
- Peace lily
- Gerberas daisy
- Money plant
- Bamboo palm
- Chinese evergreen
- European ivy
- Heart-leaf philodendron
- Cornstalk dracaena (Janet Craig and warneckei varieties)
- Mass cane
- Snake plant
- Spider plant
While these plants may be great for your air, some may be toxic to pets, so check to ensure whatever you bring into your home is safe for any animals you may have.
Despite their benefits, you shouldn’t expect any plants to have a dramatic effect on the air quality in your home. The best way to minimize VOC levels is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.
As plants have been shown to reduce stress levels, you may be able to breathe easier in more ways than one with these filtering flora in your home.