Clean Your Indoor Air – with Houseplants!


How is your indoor air quality?

It’s a question that most of us never even consider – until we experience a physical reaction. Preexisting medical conditions can be exacerbated, allergies can be triggered and new health problems can arise when our indoor air is polluted. Immediate effects surrounding poor indoor air quality include eye, ear and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.

If your home was locked up tight all winter (like most Iowa homes), then your air probably has some indoor pollutants/allergens that could be adversely affecting your health. Even if you have no obvious symptoms, other health problems related to the exposure can show up years later. Respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer have all been attributed to indoor pollutants.

The good news is that there are several simple methods for cleaning your air – and one of the most effective is also the least used. “Bringing the outdoors in” and accenting your home with a variety of plants can help with a number of troubling airborne substances. Mold, dust mites, pollen, pet dander and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) can be neutralized with specific plants. This organic and aesthetically pleasing solution is a cost-effective way to ensure a healthier home environment.

Natural Indoor Air Cleaners

Choosing the right plants for your home is key. We’ve provided a list of top air-cleaning plants and the various toxins that they help remove.

  • Ficus – Collectively known as “fig-trees,” (and within its genus, there are about 850 species), these popular plants can be found at the local nursery in tree and bush form. An indoor Ficus will grow to be anywhere from 2 – 10 feet and thrive in indirect sunlight. These plants are great for removing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air.
  • Chrysanthemum morifolium – More commonly referred to as a “Hardy garden mum” or “Florist’s daisy,” these dynamic flowering plants are popular, in part, for their air-cleaning abilities. In a famous study by NASA, the Garden mum was found to remove benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, ammonia, and other harmful chemicals from the air.
  • Aloe Vera – This succulent plant, known for its medicinal and cosmetic uses, is also an effective air purifier. Easy to grow inside, requiring little care, these plants help remove formaldehyde.
  • Golden Pothos – This flowering plant, also referred to as “Hunter’s rose” and “Epipremnum aureum” is a popular indoor plant in more temperate regions. Nearly impossible to kill, it can be highly invasive when introduced to tropical areas of the world. Because it is so easy to keep indoors, it’s a good “starter plant” and one that helps remove formaldehyde.
  • Dracaena – This plant is a genus of about 120 species of trees and succulent shrubs. The more common varieties are known for their air-cleaning properties. Pet owners will want to stay away from them as the foliage is toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Gerbera Daisy – Native to tropical regions, this pretty flowering plant is more commonly known as the African Daisy. Most plants release oxygen during the day, but this decorative garden plant releases oxygen all through the night as well. They are especially helpful for people who suffer from sleep apnea or have breathing disorders.
  • Boston Fern – This popular house plant removes more formaldehyde than others. They require a lot of care though and need to be watered regularly. This perennial also removes other indoor pollutants including benzene and xylene.
  • Peace Lily – This low-light plant is one of the few that will actually bloom indoors. It has a high transpiration rate, which means that it will help humidify the air. It will also help remove formaldehyde, benzene and certain VOC’s emitted by cleaning products.

Remember that these are just a few of the many plants that can help with your IAQ. Visit your local Des Moines nursery to find more indoor plants best for the air quality challenges affecting your household.

15 More Plants that Help Purify the Air

Heating and Cooling Des Moines Since 1997

At Service Legends, we take pride in heating and cooling Des Moines and the surrounding areas. Our HVAC services include furnace and air conditioner installation, repairs, maintenance, and tune-ups. Our lineup of Indoor Air Quality solutions includes whole-home humidifiers, air purifiers, and air filtration systems. We can even help with HVAC financing.

Call 515-657-6634 to contact our Home Comfort Heroes today. We’re standing by 24/7.

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