Another winter in Chattanooga means homes closed tight and central air systems running constantly. With colder temperatures keeping people inside and guests coming by for the holidays, it can sometime be difficult maintaining a healthy indoor air quality (IAQ). One of the simplest (and visually pleasing) ways to help keep your indoor air free from allergens and toxins is to fill your home with clean air house plants.
There are dozens of plant species that are ideal for filtering out the air – and ensuring household health and comfort. There are plants that can help remove specific toxins, plants that can help you sleep better and plants that can help with humidity levels. Metro understands the importance of a healthy IAQ – especially during the holiday season. So we’ve complied a short list of some of the most helpful plants sure to keep your air healthy throughout the next few months.
Most Effective Plants for Indoor Air Cleaning:
- Areca Palm: Also referred to as a yellow palm or butterfly palm, this popular indoor plant thrives in direct sunlight. Aesthetically pleasing and easy to maintain, the Areca not only helps to humidify homes (making it ideal for dry winters) it is also effective at removing most indoor toxins.
- Aloe Vera: Known more for its medicinal and cosmetic benefits, this succulent plant is also an effective air purifier. Great at helping to remove formaldehyde, Aloe Vera requires minimum care and can grow in indirect sunlight.
- Boston Fern: This perennial house plant removes more formaldehyde than other indoor plant, however it requires a lot of attention and needs to be watered frequently. It also removes a variety of other indoor pollutants including benzene and xylene.
- Chrysanthemum: You’ll also find these at the local nursery sold as a “Hardy Garden Mum” or “Florist’s Daisy.” Known for their gorgeous blooms and unique leaves, these popular garden plants have exceptional air cleaning properties. In an extended study by NASA, the Garden Mum was found to successfully remove formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, trichloroethylene and other indoor toxins.
- Dracaena: Also known as “Janet Craig,” this plant is a genus of about 120 species of trees and succulent shrubs. The more common (and indoor friendly) varieties are known for their air cleaning properties. The only downside is that the foliage is poisonous for dogs and cats, so pet owners will want to stay away from them.
- Ficus Alii: Part of a genus of about 850 species (also known as fig trees), this new Ficus variety is becoming a very popular indoor plant. It grows easily indoors and has a resistance to insects – in addition to its impressive air purifying abilities. Like all Ficus plants, there is generally some light leaf loss when placed in a new location.
- Gerbera Daisy: This eye-catching flowering plant is more commonly known as the African Daisy. While most plants release oxygen only during the day, this exotic plant releases oxygen throughout the night as well. The Gerbera Daisy is especially helpful for people who have trouble sleeping. Those with sleep apnea or breathing disorders can benefit greatly from keeping the plant in the bedroom.
- Golden Pothos: This flowering plant is embraced by homeowners in more temperate regions. Also referred to as “Hunter’s rose” and “Epipremnum aureum,” it is nearly impossible to kill and can be highly invasive when introduced to tropical areas. Because it is so resilient, it’s a popular plant for gift giving. The Golden Pothos helps remove formaldehyde from the air.
- Peace Lily: This is one of the best indoor plants available as it requires low or indirect light and actually produces blooms (white spathes) indoors. It has a high transpiration rate, which means that it helps humidify the air. It also helps remove a wide variety of toxins including alcohols, acetone, formaldehyde, benzene and certain VOC’s emitted by cleaning products.
Ensure a healthy IAQ all winter long with air cleaning plants that will continue to keep the air fresh and clean throughout the year. If you feel that your home has IAQ problems that need professional help, call Metro today at 423-616-1025 or 706-516-1980. We have IAQ solutions for a variety of common problems including dust, mold pollen and environmental allergens.
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