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5 Purifying Plants: Nature's Clean Air Defense System

Is My Home Too Tight?

When you close the doors and windows and seal up your home for winter, you are trapping the air inside. This is good for energy conservation, keeping the warm air in and the cold air out, but closed homes are also a breeding ground for indoor air pollutants. When we tuck ourselves into tightly sealed building, away from our natural, ecological environment, problems are bound to arise.

Indoor Air Quality Improvements

There are many things that can improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) in your home, including air cleaners, humidification systems, and duct cleaning. These IAQ solutions require professional work, but there are many things you can do right now to improve the quality of your indoor air:

  • vacuum and dust regularly
  • fix water leaks to reduce the chance of mold
  • open up a window for some ventilation
  • avoid things like smoking and certain cleaning agents
  • do not use more than the required amount of cleaning products
  • rinse mops, sponges, and other products thoroughly before storing
  • increase ventilation when cleaning by leaving a window or two open
  • working humidification system to control moisture
  • routine HVAC maintenance and air filter replacements

For more information on how you can improve the indoor air quality in your home, take a look at these indoor air quality articles:

Nature’s Clean Air Defense System

One of the best things you can do to improve your indoor air quality and decor is to buy some clean-air plants for your home. According to a 1989 NASA study, Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement:

…houseplants have demonstrated the potential for improving indoor air quality by removing trace organic pollutants from the air in energy-efficient buildings. This plant system is one of the most promising means of alleviating the sick building syndrome associated with many new, energy-efficient buildings.

The study showed that houseplants remove benzene (gasoline, inks, oils, plastics, rubber), trichloroethylene (degreasing, inks, paints, lacquers, adhesives), and formaldehyde (insulation, pressed wood, household cleaners, carpet backing, cigarette smoke, natural gas, and kerosene), three common indoor air pollutants.

5 Air Purifying Plants

The IAQ solution we’re talking about today are air purifying plants. Here is a list of some of the best indoor air cleaning plants:

1. English Ivy (Hedera helix): This hardy, climbing ivy can thrive in small spaces without a lot of sunlight. It is highly effective in absorbing formaldehyde from the air.

English Ivy - clean air plant

2. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata): These ferns are well-suited to hanging baskets and can thrive without very much sun. They do, however, require quite a bit of water and moisture. Still, many homeowners have them in their home to help purify the air of formaldehyde, benzene, and possibly even toxic metals, such as arsenic and mercury.

Boston fern - clean air plant

3. Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata): This beautiful plant is long, thin, and glossy, which is why it is called a snakeplant. It thrives in low-light conditions and helps to lower carbon dioxide and other toxins in

snake plant - clean air plant

4. Gold Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): This robust vine grows quickly. Use it with a trellis or hanging basket. This vine, like many others, is great for removing formaldehyde from the air, as well as benzene and carbon monoxide. For this reason, it is a good idea to have this plant near the entrance to your garage or basement, where exhaust could be leaking in.

Golden Pothos - clean air plant

5. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): This plant loves the sun and reproduces quickly, sprouting long, tendril-like leaves and hanging stems. The spider-like plantlets produce many offshoots, which you can use to plant new plants. Great for kitchens and the beginner gardener. Takes care of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, and benzene.

Spider Plant - clean air plant

Images source: ThisOldHouse

The 5 clean air plants are great for naturally reducing the amount of indoor toxins and pollutants in your home, however, sometimes more aggressive tactics are necessary. Perhaps the most common and dangerous source of indoor air quality problems is with your various exhaust systems, such as your furnace, water heater, fireplace, car, and stove. Many harmful gases are created, such as carbon monoxide. Read this article for a list of natural gas furnace hazards and why you should have multiple carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home.

To avoid exhaust problems, you should always have your chimney and heating equipment inspected every year by a professional. You can assist in maintain the safety and efficiency of your gas furnace by following these steps before and during every heating season.

One big sign of an exhaust problem if you start to see moisture and condensation on venting materials and nearby cold surfaces. Make sure you have your HVAC technician inspect your vent pipes and ductwork for damage and leaks. A professional furnace maintenance checklist will also include things such as checking your gas connections, burners, and heat exchanger.

Never run a generator, gas grill, or car in or near your home. If you have a generator, make sure it is at least 20 feet away from any doors or windows. Check for working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home, including the basement, but not so close to your heating equipment that it will give false readings. Consult with your HVAC technician on the proper placement of carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

Just make sure that if you do any heavy insulation projects, you consult with a professional HVAC technician to assess your home for proper ventilation levels.


Call Cassel Home Comfort for your professional heating/furnace tune-up in the Champaign, IL area at (217) 866-1596. We are committed to being your best HVA/C contractor choice in Central Illinois in both value and customer service!

A live and friendly call center is standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you with all your heating and cooling questions. If you are not satisfied for any reason, we will return to fix the problem, or provide a full refund – no questions asked!

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