House Plants

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Energy & Environment

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House Plants

Why should we care about indoor air quality? Air quality is an important consideration for health, as we proportionaltely consume more air (02) than any other substance, and it is possible for chemicals to get absorbed through the lungs. Substances such as chemical based cleaners, detergents, air freshners, and scents can pollute indoor air and contribute to poor indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is shown to be 2-5 times as contaminated as outdoor air in some places, and indoor air is often more stagnent.

House Plants

List of air filtering plants: -Aloe vera -Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum); very resistant and it produces runners (smaller plants) which can be transplanted -Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata "Laurenti"); One of the best air filtering plants for formaldehyde which is found on common cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues, and personal care products. (Thrives in low light and steamy humid conditions, perfect for the bathroom!) -Dracena (Dracaena deremensis); known as the corn plant, best for removing xylene, trichloroethelyne and formaldehyde which can be introduced from gases and varnishes-Christmas cactus; great for cleaning air, and very resiliant -Bamboo palm; known as reed palm; thrives in shady indoor areas and often produces flowers and small berries, filters benzene and trichloroetheylene

How to place houseplants around your home To decide where to put houseplants in your home, it will need to be somewhere you can easily access it. To make sure houseplants stay alive and healthy they need to be placed in a room where there is light. Plants that enjoy direct light should be placed in a well lit room with a window. Plants which thrive in shade should be placed in a corner, or close to a window ledge. Ferns and plants which like moisture are ideal for the bathroom.

How do houseplants work? Plants act as air filters because they absorb toxins through their leaves, plants with very large leaves are highly recommended. Using houseplants in a home can reduce incidents of asthma, allergies, and reactions to mold and other particles.

Above: Dracena (Dracaena deremensis) Below: Aloe vera plant

Why should we care about house plants? In the late 1890's NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify air in enclosed spaces. Plants naturally absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), and release oxygen which let's us breathe. Some plants also have special properties such as the ability to remove chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichlorethylene. NASA concluded that each household should use 15-18 houseplants in 6-8" diameter containers in a 1800 square ft. home. Indoor plants can add fresh air to a home since they clean the air of pollutants, but they can add pollen in your home. Houseplants are not recommended for those who are allergic to pollen. Indoor plants can also add more moisture in the air so they are ideal for homes in dry areas such as the desert.


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