Is your home suffering from “sick home syndrome”? This all-too-common condition occurs when indoor air pollutants build up in the air inside your home, causing symptoms such as allergies and headaches. Although the most effective form of indoor air purification is a high-quality air purifier or a whole house ventilation system, plants can also help to clean the air inside your home.
What Are Indoor Air Pollutants?
One of the most concerning indoor air pollutants is formaldehyde, which is found in high levels in certain types of laminate flooring. Formaldehyde can trigger asthma symptoms and respiratory irritation, as well as possibly raising the risk of cancer.
Other concerning indoor air pollutants include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as benzene and trichloroethylene (TEC), which evaporate at room temperature to pollute the air inside your home. Nitrogen oxides and fumes from disinfectants also contribute to “sick home syndrome,” because, together with the other chemicals in the air, they create a toxic mixture of tiny particles that can irritate your eyes, nose and throat.
A Natural Solution to Sick Home Syndrome
If you’re looking for a natural, simple and inexpensive way to remove some of these toxins from the air inside your home, try bringing some greenery indoors. The following houseplants are excellent air purifiers.
English ivy is so effective at removing harmful chemicals from the air that even NASA recognizes it as a useful air purification tool. In a 24-hour experiment, English ivy removed almost 90 percent of the benzene from a sealed experimental chamber. This plant also absorbs formaldehyde incredibly effectively and filters out other pollutants from the air. Best of all, English ivy is easy to grow; all it needs is bright light, occasional watering and monthly treatments with water-soluble fertilizer in the summer.
Aloe vera absorbs carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and gives out oxygen, increasing the air quality in your home. It also performs extremely well at absorbing formaldehyde, helping to keep you safe from this common pollutant. As a bonus, aloe vera leaves contain a soothing sap that you can use to treat irritated skin.
If you’re looking for a plant that looks beautiful while it works to improve your indoor air quality, peace lily is the right option for you. This graceful plant brings down the levels of multiple airborne toxins, while its graceful white flowers complement your decor. Impress your guests with this beautiful plant, which is in fact surprisingly easy to grow indoors.
If you love the idea of bringing plants into your home, but worry that no plant could tolerate the lack of natural light, fear not. Spider plants need only minimal lighting, so you can place them in rooms that don’t get much sunlight without worrying about them getting sick. Spider plants can absorb toxins effectively in rooms measuring up to 200 square feet, which makes them an incredibly useful tool in the struggle to cure your sick home syndrome.
Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep at night? Trouble sleeping can be a symptom of sick home syndrome, but bringing a plant into your bedroom could help to combat it so you can enjoy some well-earned rest. Snake plants are particularly good at absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen during the night, which makes them a great choice for a bedroom. The plant’s sword-shaped leaves could resemble a nest of wriggling snakes if you have a vivid imagination, but they’re not snakelike enough to startle you if you wake in the middle of the night and lay eyes on the plant. These hardy plants are an excellent option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance air purifier.
Are Plants Enough?
Plants are nature’s solution to air pollution. All plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen through photosynthesis, helping to keep the available oxygen inside your home as high as possible. However, there are so many pollutants inside the average modern home that even a jungle of plants couldn’t eradicate all of them.
For complete purification of the air inside your home, you need a whole house ventilation system. These systems move air around your home, drawing clean air in from inside to replace some of the stale air in which pollutants have been building up. Ventilation systems and plants can work together to improve indoor air quality; the ventilation system circulates the air that has been cleaned by the plant, providing clean air to every part of your home.
What if you don’t have green fingers? Don’t worry; there are other options. If you can’t or don’t want to commit to caring for a plant, an air purifier is a mechanical alternative. Like plants, high-quality purifiers filter out pollutants, helping you breathe easily at all times of the day and night.
To find out more about high-quality air purifiers and whole house ventilation systems, contact WAVE Home Solutions today. Our indoor air quality experts can help you find the perfect product to purify the air inside your home.