In the 1980s, NASA planned to expand the space program with moon bases, and they were faced with the task of finding an efficient air purifier. In the course of their research, they made some surprising discoveries about plants.
Any school child can tell you that plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, and that our planet couldn’t sustain life without plants to perform this vital function. What we didn’t know until the NASA plant study is that they also remove other pollutants from the air. Some plants are effective at scrubbing the air of trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde, three of the most common indoor air pollutants.
You don’t need any rare or exotic houseplants to purify the air in your home. NASA’s list of top air-purifying plants includes many common ones that you’ll find in any garden center. Here are some good choices:
- Peace lily
- English ivy
- Spider plant
- Golden pothos
- Snake plant
- Chinese evergreen
- Philodendron (heartleaf, selloum or elephant ear)
- Dracaena (Warneck, Janet Craig, red-edged or cornstalk)
- Weeping fig
According to the NASA study, you need 15 to 18 medium to large houseplants in pots at least 6 inches in diameter to improve the air quality inside the average home. In addition, the plants need to be healthy and growing vigorously to perform effectively, so using houseplants as air purifiers depends on the level of care you give to the plants. If you want an efficient air purifier that that offers a comprehensive strategy and requires much less maintenance than keeping houseplants, consider installing a whole-house air cleaner.
For more information about improving the air quality in your home, contact the professionals at Arpi’s Industries, Ltd. Serving the Calgary area for over 50 years, we can help your find the most efficient air purifier for your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about UV lights and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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