ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Houseplants for Cleaner Air

Updated on December 19, 2007
English Ivy
English Ivy

Now that the weather is getting cold and I'm keeping the windows closed, I starting thinking more about the air quality in my home. I wanted something more natural than those air purifier machines (something cheaper too). I read about how houseplants can help clean the air as well as add some wonderful nature to your living space.

You may not even think that the air in your home or office needs any cleaning, but it is a very common problem due to modern building and decorating materials. Synthetic materials in counter-tops, carpeting, paint, adhesives, fabrics and wallpaper tend to slowly give off fumes, known as "off-gassing". During the seasons when your windows are closed, these chemical vapours can accumulate, leading to eye and lung irritation, as well as other allergic reactions. Houseplants are an easy way to help reduce this problem.

Plants act as natural air filters, because of constant intake of air through the leaves. All manner of chemicals and compounds then move through the plant and end up exiting through the roots. Bacteria and other microbes in the soil then digest or otherwise break these toxins down.

It sounds ideal, but how effective are houseplants at really cleaning the air? A 2-year study done by NASA has the answers. Their interest in the concept is to find ways to keep the air in future space stations clean naturally. Common houseplants were enclosed in glass and exposed to measured amounts of various air pollutants, such as benzene and formaldehyde.

Boston Fern
Boston Fern

They found that some plants were much better at filtering pollutants from the air than others. The top ten air-cleaning houseplants are:

  • Areca Palm
  • Peace Lily
  • English Ivy
  • Cornplant
  • Weeping Fig
  • Rubber Plant
  • Dwarf Date Palm
  • Boston Fern
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Gerbera Daisy

To a lesser extent, also Dumb Cane, Spider Plant, Pothos, Philodendron, various Ficus species and Dracaena species.

You'll need approximately 1 plant for every 10 sq yards (with average 9 foot ceilings) . So a typical living room (20 sq yards or more) would need 2 or 3 plants to help keep the air clean. Make sure that potentially toxic plants (like Dumb Cane) are out of reach of children or pets.

So if you have a corner that gets a reasonable amount of light, you might want to think about getting an all-natural air filter in a pot. Plants won't clean things like cigarette smoke, dust or pet dander, though. You will still have to do a little bit of housecleaning for that.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      House Plants decor 

      5 years ago

      A private workroom or work corner is easier to decorate with plants than a strictly functional office. At home you only have the location, furnishing, and your own taste to consider. Choice sometimes falls on a less austere desk, often accompanied by a not so functional chair and the decorations are more personal. A private retreat at home such as this can be made even more welcoming with an attractive display of plants. Living greenery softens the business-like effect and makes working at home a pleasant occupation.

      http://houseplantsdecor.com/2012/10/greenery/green...

    • profile image

      me7mas 

      10 years ago

      Thank you

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)