Houseplants offer so much more than just aesthetic value. In addition to making your house look and feel more homely, they can also actively improve indoor air quality. So if you’re looking for a simple, cost-effective way to improve indoor air quality, start by introducing a few houseplants into your home.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?
Poor indoor air quality can have a variety of causes:
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that can be used in products to reduce heat transfer and provide other insulation benefits. It was used extensively in the past and is still used in some products today. Asbestos can cause respiratory problems and various forms of cancer when particles become airborne and are inhaled. The most common sources of asbestos in indoor air are materials used in building construction, such as insulation, adhesives, and roofing. If these products contain asbestos, they can release the fibers into the air, leading to poor air quality.
Long-term exposure to airborne asbestos fibers can lead to asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other respiratory problems such as asthma. Asbestosis is a chronic disease caused by scarring of the lungs due to asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that is caused by asbestos fibers as well. When these particles become airborne, they can be inhaled and ingested, leading to accumulation in the body. Long-term inhalation of these fibers can lead to serious health consequences.
The best way to avoid asbestos’s health consequences is to reduce asbestos exposure in indoor air. Asbestos products should only be handled and used by licensed professionals. If asbestos materials are found in the home, these materials should be sealed, removed, or replaced with more modern products. Homeowners should also invest in air purification systems to help reduce exposure to airborne particles in the home.
Biological pollutants are tiny living organisms in indoor air and can negatively affect human health. Some common sources of biological pollutants include bacteria, fungi, pollen, and pet dander. Biological pollutants can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, triggering allergies and asthma. Furthermore, certain forms of bacteria may lead to disease and other health consequences.
Biological pollutants often enter the indoor environment from the outdoors but can also come from inside sources such as pets, damp or water-damaged surfaces, decaying matter, and standing water. Once these particles enter the air, they can spread quickly and enter the lungs, leading to various illnesses. Allergens from pets, pollen, and mold spores can trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks. Disease-causing bacteria and viruses can also spread through the air and enter the body, leading to infections and other illnesses.
It is important to reduce indoor sources of any pollutants to reduce the effects of biological pollutants. Pet owners should keep their pets clean and well-groomed to reduce allergens in the air. Mold and water damage should be fixed immediately to prevent spores from spreading. Air purifiers can also help reduce contaminant particles in the air, helping to improve indoor air quality.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced when fuel is burned. It is a common air pollutant and can be deadly in large enough concentrations. In the home, carbon monoxide can come from gas stoves, fireplaces, cars, and even furnaces. It can then build up in closed rooms. At high enough levels, it can cause dizziness, confusion, headaches, and even death.
When breathed in, the carbon monoxide gas combines with oxygen in the blood, decreasing the oxygen supply to the body’s organs, tissues, and systems. Carbon monoxide poisoning can have serious health consequences and is especially dangerous for pregnant women and the elderly.
To reduce the accumulation of carbon monoxide in the home, inspect your appliances and heating systems regularly. Chimneys should be cleaned annually to ensure that air is flowing freely. Anything that burns fuel, such as stoves and furnaces, should only be used in well-ventilated spaces. Carbon monoxide detectors should also be installed in the home to detect gas levels before it rises to the level of risk.
Emissions From Cookstoves and Heaters
Cookstoves and heaters are a common source of air pollution in many households. These tools can release various pollutants into the air, such as carbon monoxide, ozone precursors such as NOx and SOx, and particulate matter. These particles can build up in indoor spaces, leading to various health problems, including respiratory irritation and ear, nose, and throat infections.
Cookstoves and heaters produce their pollutants through the burning of fuel. Burning fuel creates smoke and carbon dioxide, leading to indoor air quality problems. This smoke and carbon dioxide can contain a variety of microscopic pollutants, which can be inhaled and ingested by people in the home. Long-term exposure to these pollutants can lead to health problems.
The best way to reduce emissions from cookstoves and heaters is to only burn the necessary amount of fuel. This will help reduce smoke and carbon dioxide in your home. It is also important to maintain stoves properly to ensure they burn cleanly. Exhaust fans should be used to reduce the amount of smoke and emissions that remain in the home. Finally, use air purifiers to reduce the number of pollutants in the home and improve indoor air quality.
How Do Houseplants Clean Air?
Houseplants purify the air by absorbing harmful chemicals and pollutants, which is why they are often recommended for people with allergies or asthma. Houseplants also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air, helping to improve air quality.
Numerous plants can help clean the air in your home, but some of the best ones include:
The spider plant is an excellent air-purifying plant that can remove formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene from indoor air. It’s a relatively easy plant to care for and can also help reduce fatigue and headaches.
Peace lilies are excellent air-purifying plants that can help remove chemicals such as acetone, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. They can also reduce the presence of mold spores in the air and even help reduce the effects of allergies.
Bamboo palm reduces the amount of benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene in the air. It is also easy to care for and can be an excellent addition to any room.
English ivy can help reduce the amount of fecal matter and mold in the air. These plants don’t require a lot of attention, but be sure to keep them away from children and pets.
Houseplants can be an excellent way to help purify your indoor air. Not only do they remove pollutants and chemicals from the air, but they can also help create a more calming environment and reduce fatigue and headaches.
If you want to improve your indoor air quality, why not try introducing a few houseplants to your home? It will make your home look more inviting, and you’ll also enjoy the benefits of cleaner air. Whether you’re a residential or commercial client, visit our website for additional advice and tips on improving the air quality in your home or business.
Besides indoor air quality services, we offer heating, cooling, and plumbing services to Gilbert, AZ residents. Contact A/C Doctors today to find out more.