Can Houseplants Make Your Air Better?

Universal

| LAST UPDATE 10/27/2022

By Amie Alfaro
houseplants air quality study
Sara Monika via Getty Images

The benefits of plants have been taught to everyone since a young age. Trees make oxygen to help us breathe, and humans make carbon dioxide to help trees with photosynthesis. Plants and humans live in a harmonious state together. Many people have begun to bring their plants indoors with houseplants, but does this actually improve the air quality inside your home?

There is one study that NASA did in 1989 that was trying to understand if it was possible that plants could take out harmful chemicals from the air in environments that were sealed. The study found that several plants could remove up to 70% of these volatile organic compounds, also called VOCs. However, these findings did not transfer to daily life all that well. Our homes, offices, restaurants, and stores are not tiny chambers that are completely sealed to the universe. They are pretty open and would not be able to work in the intended way of removing harmful chemicals.

Indoor Houseplants Benefits Air
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While plants will not improve the air quality of your home, there are still many reasons to have them in your home and take care of them. They offer a wide range of benefits, including their ability to help regulate the humidity in your home. A study in Bulgaria in 2020 surveyed the benefits of green spaces in the house. They surveyed 323 students who spent an average of 20 hours a day in their homes due to the Coronavirus pandemic. They concluded from the study that increased greenery exposure, whether outdoors or indoors, supported mental health. “The relative abundance of greenery visible from the home or in the neighborhood was associated with reduced depressive/anxiety symptoms and lower depression/anxiety rates,” the study said. Not to mention, they have an added décor value to the home.

While obtaining houseplants may not improve the air quality where you live, there are still many reasons to bring a plant, or more, into your home. Are you thinking of adding some greenery to your home? Stay tuned for more breaking news from the world of science.

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