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7 Best Houseplants to Purify Your Home’s Air

January 28, 2014

Would you say the air in your home is cleaner or dirtier than the air outside?

Time for shocking news: According to the EPA, your indoor air may be 2 to 5 times—even up to a 100 —times more polluted than the air outside.

But how? Well, your home’s air contains many harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that come from a variety of cleaning products and other products that require chemicals to make.

These VOCs (and their common sources) include:

  • Benzene (found in glue, paint, furniture wax, and detergent)
  • Formaldehyde (found in pressed wood products, furniture, and personal care products)
  • Trichloroethylene (found in paints and paint removers, glues, spot removers, rug cleaning fluids, and metal cleaners)

There are multiple ways to rid your home of these VOCs. But there’s one simple, natural way to do it: keeping air-purifying house plants.

In the 1980’s NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America did a study where to discovered which houseplants most effectively purified the air in their air-tight space facilities.

Since then, other plants have been found to rid your home of VOCs as well. Here are a few air purifying plants you can put in your home.

Keep in mind, you typically need one to two plant per 100 sq. ft. of your home.

1) Aloe Vera

The gel from this plant is normally used to sooth skin burns and cuts.

But the plant itself work like a living air purifier, filtering out benzene and formaldehyde, both commonly found in cleaning products, from your air. This plant is also easy to grow and loves sunshine —perfect for sunny Florida.

2) Spider Plant

Known for its long spider-like leave, the spider plant makes a great indoor plant since it tolerates artificial light well.

It can remove formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, benzene, and xylene. The perfect place to put it is near your fireplace or in your kitchen.

3) Gerbera Daisies

This bright plant not only adds to the beauty of your home, but it also purifies your air of trichloroethylene and benzene.

Unlike many other plants, they continue to release oxygen at night. So place these plants next to your bed if you suffer from sleep apnea or other breathing disorders and get a get a good nights sleep.

4) Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums specialize in removing benzene from your air. Benzene, like we mentioned before, is a chemical found in many laundry detergents, glues and plastics.

These flowers thrive in bright indirect sunlight and will live for about 6 weeks.

5) Snake Plant

If you don’t have much time to take care of a plants, you’ve found your perfect plant. The Snake Plant, (also known as Mother-In-Law's Tongue) filters formaldehyde out of your air.

Formaldehyde is commonly found in personal care products and pressed wood products, like particle board.

It also converts CO2 in oxygen while you sleep.

Place them in your bedroom, bathroom or around your living room near new furniture.

Be careful though. This plant is toxic if you ingest it. So keep it out of the range of small children.

6) Bamboo Palm

The large elegant leaves of the bamboo palm (also called the reed palm) sweep away these toxins out of your air: benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene (a chemical found in the dry-cleaning process).

It has other great uses as well, including:

  • Being a spider mite repellent
  • Emitting moisture during dry winter months

Keep this plant near a laundry room, living room or bedroom.

7) Peace Lily

One of the top of air purifying plants, according to NASA, is the peace lily.

This tropical plant has large white leaves and breaks down and neutralizes several toxic gases from your air, including acetone, ammonia, benzene, ethyl acetate, formaldehyde, methyl alcohol, trichloroethylene and xylene.

They’re easy to grow, only requiring low bright light and weekly watering.

Other effective air cleaning solutions

Looking for keeping your home’s air clean? Check out our related blog posts:

Cool Today provides award-winning air conditioning service to Sarasota, Florida and the surrounding areas like Bradenton, Tampa, and Port Charlotte. If you have any questions, talk to one of our experts for help.

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