In the late 1980s, NASA scientists published a study revealing that some plants can improve indoor air quality. The photosynthetic properties of plants create oxygen, playing a vital role in all of life on earth. Along with creating oxygen, they remove toxins. It would seem, therefore, that indoor plants would also introduce oxygen and remove toxins indoors. However, some scientists argue that the evidence of indoor plants having an impact on air quality is not substantial enough to be an accepted fact. Here is what you need to know about plants and indoor air quality.
Do Indoor Plants Improve My Air Quality?
This complex question has fueled debates for decades. Currently, however, the general response is negative – indoor plants do not improve indoor air quality. Though plants may have some level of impact on the air around them, including indoor air, they do not serve the same function as a traditional air purifier.
One of the central issues is that the amount of air circulating indoors is far too much for a collection of plants to regulate. Each plant can only affect a very small amount of air. Since the vast majority of homes do not have an extensive number of plants in each room, it is impossible for the indoor plants to filter out all the air inside your home. It is unlikely to make a significant difference on the air quality at all.
Issues with Indoor Plant Studies
Some researchers have found problems in the studies that analyze the impact of indoor plants on air quality. Many of the studies have involved keeping the plants in a small, sealed room to make it easier to measure the toxins in the air. However, this is not a realistic representation of a home. Houses have doors opening and closing, and larger spaces. It is more difficult for plants to regulate the air quality when new air and toxins are constantly filtering in and out of the space. Some research has estimated that the air inside and outside of a home swaps places at least once an hour on average.
Additionally, plants grown in the test labs were usually in optimal growing conditions, so they could do the most possible photosynthesis. This is also not realistic for a home environment, especially with light. Most homes only have a few locations to put a plant where it will get enough sun. Many indoor plants end up in areas of the house devoid of sunlight, which hinders their ability to photosynthesize productively.
Benefits of Having Indoor Plants Around
Though many scientists are skeptical of an indoor plant’s ability to significantly impact air quality, there are still many proven benefits of having plants in your home. Various studies have shown that indoor plants have emotional and physical benefits, calming the sympathetic nervous system and improving peoples’ moods. Studies show that spending time around nature also increases energy levels. Even if indoor plants are not the answer to purifying the air inside your home, they still yield many benefits and can be a beautiful addition to your home.
While the greenery in your home may be a mood booster, if you are looking for clean air, discover the power of the AirBox Clean Air Purifier. Consider the benefits of keeping the air of your home at peak quality.