From using “green” cleaning products to purchasing home furnishings that don’t give off harmful gases, consumers are on the lookout for green ways to improve their indoor air quality. Among the most effective indoor air purifiers, and perhaps the “greenest” air cleaners of all are certain species of plants.
While they gracefully bring the look of the outdoors to the indoors, certain houseplants also absorb pollutants and harmful gases from the air. In the process, they clean the air and provide greater balance to indoor humidity levels. The Associated Landscape Contractors of America has identified 10 houseplants that function particularly well as air purifiers:
- The easy-to-care-for peace lily, which is particularly good at removing pollutants from the air that might cause cancer, such as benzene and formaldehyde.
- The glossy marginata also removes these and other toxins. While advantageous for humans, the plant could be poisonous to dogs.
- The snake plant is known to get rid of formaldehyde, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants. It’s also forgiving of challenged gardeners; it’s tolerant of low light and irregular watering schedules.
- The Chinese evergreen also does well with less water and low light, saving its energy for attacking benzene and formaldehyde.
- Aloe vera, so closely associated with skin care products, is effective at filtering various gas emissions from dangerously toxic materials.
- The devil’s ivy (also known as the silver vine) takes formaldehyde, benzene and xylene to task. But it should be kept away from children and animals.
- The areca palm, known best as a humidifier, also shows a preference for formaldehyde and xylene.
- The English ivy was made for people who suffer from asthma and allergies; it’s particularly good at negating chemicals released by synthetic materials.
- The Boston fern is a natural humidifier. As they release moisture, they remove benzene, formaldehyde and xylene and clean the air.
- The fast-growing spider plant is well-suited for the kitchen or fireplace hearth, where it can attack carbon monoxide.
Decorating your home with air purifying plants is just one way to improve your home’s indoor air quality. For other economical ideas, call Davis Air Conditioning & Heating for a consultation—and watch your neighbors turn green with envy.