The Best Houseplants to Filter Air, According To NASA

As homes become more and more insulated, they also become more efficient to trap air pollution. Modern homes have very low-quality air because of the lack of proper ventilation and air flow. Also, homes are now being built in so-called non-residential areas. Apartments that are right beside the main road often gather a lot of airborne pollutants.

Air purifiers help reduce air pollution to a certain extent, but they fail to remove different chemical pollutants that are diffused into the air. More importantly, air purifiers do not change the composition of air. Neglecting the quality of the air you breathe on a daily basis could result in serious consequences. Illness, allergies, asthma and frequent headaches are just a few of many inconveniences that come from airborne particles floating around your home. Air pollution is also one of the reasons the can affect your digestive system.

There is no need to dish out a whole lot of money when the solution can be just as easy as keeping a houseplant. According to NASA, there are plenty of plants that work as air purifiers, soak up harmful chemicals and also gives plenty of oxygen. They do not need electricity or even a filter change. Some sunlight and water are enough. However, before we get started with the list, here is a list of sources of indoor air pollutants.

What causes indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution comes from really common sources. Some of these include:

  • Glues and Adhesives
  • Carpets (especially new carpets)
  • Chemicals in household cleaners (instead of using poisonous household cleaners you can make your own natural household cleaners)
  • Foam insulation materials
  • Paint
  • Pressed-wood products (plywood, particle board, and medium-density fiberboard)

Best air filtering plants

1. English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

English Ivy is ideal for indoors. You can plant it in a moderately sized pot, water it once in a while and keep it in the shade. It does not need much to thrive. More importantly, the research found it to be particularly useful in eliminating airborne faecal-matter particles. It is also a great plant for those who have smokers in the house. The plant is good at trapping and absorbing suspended particulate matter.

2. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

According to NASA, this plant is really effective at removing formaldehyde. This plant is also incredibly tough. For those who struggle a lot to keep plants alive, this plant will be really easy to take care of. The plant grows really quickly, needs little maintenance and looks great when suspended from elevated areas.

3. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exalta Bostoniensis)

Boston Fern is a natural air humidifier. This plant generally thrives in a lot of excess water, so you will have to water the plant pretty often. It also provides a lot of oxygen in the daytime and helps in removing formaldehyde from the atmosphere. Boston ferns are very effective and even a single plant can make a noticeable difference.

4. Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis)

Dracaena has long striped leaves. The plant can thrive indoors easily with little light and water. This plant can easily remove trichloroethylene that comes from paints, solvents and varnishes. A single plant can grow over ten feet tall so plant it in a small pot and keep pruning it over time.

5. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

The Bamboo Palm fits in smaller areas. Also, it is quite aesthetically pleasing and functional, as far as air purification is concerned. It removes xylene – a chemical released from car exhaust, paints, and cigarettes – from the air with little need for maintenance.

6. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Pease Lily is one of the most visually appealing plants because of its unique white flowers. It also has one of the highest rates of transpiration. Use it to remove trichloroethylene, benzene, acetone, and alcohols from the air. However, the plant itself is actually very toxic. So, if you have pets and children in the house, make sure that they do not put this plant in their mouth.

7. Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa)

Lady Palm can filter multiple indoor pollutants. However, it requires a lot of watering. Especially during the warmer months of spring and summer, this plant needs a lot of water. However, it has excellent insect resistance.

8. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

Spider plant thrives well in natural sunlight. It generally thrives well in moist environments and even with watering twice a week, it grows at an excellent speed. It also traps carbon monoxide, something that is found in kitchens and fireplaces.

9. Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

Snake plant is a great plant to keep in bedrooms. What’s great about this plant is that it gives out oxygen both during the day and night. It also takes care of excess formaldehyde.

Word of caution

Some of these plants are actually toxic in nature if they are ingested. Not all plants are safe when you have children or pets around. So, do read online about the toxicity of these plants before you get them.

Plants are a great way to reduce indoor pollution, as well as improve the overall air quality inside.

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