Most people believe that air pollution is an outdoor problem, and chemicals and other pollutants don't affect them if they are indoors. But the truth is, the air in our offices and homes is more polluted than outside air. The air inside the office or home may contain lead, carbon, formaldehyde, and radon.
Most of these pollutants enter our homes when we buy new furniture or mattress, or when a coat of paint is applied on the wall. The air inside the homes and offices also contain dust mites and other major allergens. People who suffer from asthma, elderly, and children can suffer from health problems because of these allergens. Since most modern homes are airtight, these pollutants cannot easily escape.
Did you know that the average person spends over 90 percent of their daily time indoors? That means that this time indoors could be the reason why so many people suffer from sicknesses and other allergies. And that’s why I think the air that we breathe in our homes needs to be fresh and clean or it can have an adverse effect on the members of the family.
But you know what; you don’t have to worry anymore, because nature is there to take care of us. There are numerous plants which we can use to improve indoor air quality. I have mentioned around 16 such plants that will help in improving air quality:
Spathiphyllum or Peace Lily is one of the easiest plants to take care for. However, they need proper growing conditions like weekly watering and shade to survive and produce blooms. This plant topped NASA’s list for plants that absorb common volatile organic compounds like trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and benzene. It also improves indoor air quality by combating toxic ingredients like xylene and toluene.
Another plant that helps in improving indoor air quality is Maidenhair fern or Adiantum Capillus-Veneris. This plant is a native of Brazil and it normally grows up to 40 cm in height. Like any other fern, it likes warm environment and hates direct sunlight. This plant is known for its formaldehyde-absorbing gift, as it can absorb up to 20 mg/hr. Avoid keeping this plant in areas where there is constant smoke, as it can damage the plant.
This plant is considered to be one of the top indoor air purifiers. A single aloe vera plant is considered equivalent to more than 8 biological air purifiers. It improves indoor air quality by absorbing harmful chemicals like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and of course formaldehyde. Aloe vera also absorbs dust and kills harmful microorganisms. It is an easy to grow plant but if you see spots on the leaves of Aloe vera, it means that air in the room is excessively harmful. To deal with this problem, you can get another Aloe vera plant.
This easy-to-care plant can help in improving indoor air quality by filtering several pollutants and removing toxins. Chinese evergreen does not need extreme sunlight to bloom and produce berries. This tropical plant is one of the most durable indoor houseplants you can grow, as it can tolerate dry air, poor light, and drought.
Hedera or ivy will provide clean air even when there are smokers in the home or office. The leaves of this plant are good absorbers of harmful chemicals like nicotine. The plant uses photosynthesis to convert smoke filled air into clean air. It also absorbs formaldehyde at the rate of 9 mg/hr.
Spider plant improves indoor air quality by absorbing formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from the air. It has the capacity to absorb 85% formaldehyde and 95% carbon monoxide from the air. This plant can carry out photosynthesis even in areas where there is dim light. You will need two spider plants to clean air in a 7 to 9 square meter room. It is also known to decompose benzene and absorb harmful substances like nicotine from the air.
Ficus elastic or rubber plant is a versatile plant that is known for its resistance to harmful gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, carbon monoxide, and several other gases. It is also known to eliminate pollution causes by inhalable substances, and thus playing an important role in holding indoor dusts.
Aparagus Fern or asparagus setaceus is just like an air purifier that protects you from virus and bacteria. This plant is known to contain antibacterial ingredients it is odor which clears the viruses and bacteria in the air. Improving indoor air quality is not the only benefit of this plant. The leafy branches and fleshy roots of this plant are known for its healing property.
The biological name of this plant is Pachira macrocarpa. This plant improves indoor air quality by absorbing harmful substances like tobacco. It absorbs these harmful chemicals and releases oxygen through photosynthesis. Apart from absorbing nicotine, it also absorbs carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
Commonly known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this indoor plant is best known for filtering out chemicals like formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a common chemical in toilet paper, cleaning products, personal care products, and tissues. You can put this plant in the bathroom as it can survive steamy humid condition and low light while filtering out air pollutants.
One of the main reasons for growing popularity of this plant is that it thrives on neglect. This plant will survive even if you don't water it for weeks. It is resistant to insects and diseases, and can survive in dim light. It also cleanses the indoor air by removing harmful chemicals and makes the air healthier for humans to breathe.
Epipremuem Aurenm (Pothos)
This plant has been mentioned several times in NASA’s list of best plants for improving indoor air quality. It was one of the best all-around performers, as it removed 73% benzene and 9.2% of Trichloroethylene from a sealed chamber in 24 hours. Epipremuem Aurenm was also featured in the TED Talk by Kamal Meattle as one of the most essential plants for cleaning the air.
The plant opens its flowers in low temperatures. This aroma of these flowers is pleasant, which makes it an ideal plant for places that are moist and smelly. It is a natural aromatic plant that is as evening house fragrance and natural air purifier. Also, jasmine herbal tea is extremely healthy when mixed with green tea.
Natal lily or Cliva miniata improves indoor air quality by absorbing smoke and releasing oxygen. An adult natal lily can take in about 1 liter of air every day and release 80% oxygen. This plant can carry out photosynthesis in extremely dim light, which makes it an ideal indoor plant. Also, it does not emit any carbon dioxide at night. You normally require 2 to 3 pots of Natal lily to absorb indoor smoke in an area of a 12 square meters.
This plant is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also helps in improving indoor air quality. The plant is easy to take care for, as it requires minimal light and a weak fertilizer once a month. It improves indoor air quality by absorbing harmful chemicals and toxins like toluene, formaldehyde, ammonia, and xylene.
Epiphyllum Exypetalum (Queen of the night)
One of the biggest strength of this plant is that it is able to filter from the air various chemicals like ammonia, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene. It is not a difficult plant to maintain, as it can easily bloom in dim light. However, it needs a highly humid environment and a temperature between 64 and 72 degree Fahrenheit.
On the final note I would say that along with the mentioned plants use for indoor air quality, everyone should create a regular home cleaning system. It will greatly reduce the air pollution inside your home. This specially relates to the pollution from smoking, pollen, mites and most importantly pets. By maintaining a good indoor air quality you can reduce the instances of illness and other health conditions caused due to poor air quality, so out there, buy any of the mentioned plants and be healthy!