The best ways to improve indoor air quality is by removing the pollutant sources and the ventilation of the clean air throughout the space. While Air purifiers may help, air purifying plants are a great and natural way to clean the air supply inside a house. Let’s look at why you should get one and which one to get! This Buying Guide can make your buying process much easier.
Why Do You Need Air Purifying Plants?
Indoor pollution comes from the toxic contaminating elements which we encounter in our everyday life. Other elements of indoor pollution also include household supplies like glues, building materials, pesticides, cleaning agents, odorless and colorless gases, and CO (carbon monoxide).
Pollutants such as smoke, cooking gases, pet hair, cleaning products, and other materials and pet hair contribute to the unhealthy air of the surroundings.
Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, in the air from paints, adhesives, and other building substances, leads to a lot of health issues, which can include nausea, headache, liver issues as well as lung and kidney cancer.
Scientists have conducted researches, and studies have revealed that certain plants can absorb toxic gases like formaldehyde and even benzene through the pores of their leaves. And this process of vigorously cleaning the air with plants is called phytoremediation.
Concept behind Phytoremediation
It is considered to be one of the more sustainable solutions for lessening indoor pollution. The following are the forms:
- Phyto stimulation: It refers to the fastening of the microbial activities in the soil to hasten the degradation of the contaminants.
- Phytotransformation: It refers to the process of chemical modification of the substances in soil, water, and air through plant metabolism.
- Phyto volatilization: It refers to the removal of contaminants from soil and water using plants and releasing them into the air by means of transpiration.
Some of the plants which help in indoor air purification are as follows:
1. Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera):
Along with the healing properties it has, there are a lot of perennial properties too, which are associated with this plant. It helps in filtering formaldehyde and benzene out of the air. Also, it blooms with ease as it does not require any extra conditions for surviving.
2. African Daisies:
This is another perennial plant that helps in improving the indoor air quality by removing carbon monoxide from the atmosphere. These plants have bright colors, which makes it difficult to grow indoors.This plant is expensive and requires well-drained soil for proper growth.
3. Areca Palm:
This plant has a knack for absorbing benzene and formaldehyde. It is a go-to plant for bright indoors. It is perfect for purchasing this plant while it is on top of its table size.
4. Dendrobium Phalaenopsis:
If you are willing to get rid of Xylene, which is a pollutant that comes along with glue, this plant is a perfect choice. It is a type of orchid native to Australia and is expected to be grown under bright sunlight.
5. Boston Fern:
The Boston Fern can easily absorb formaldehyde and is known to be better than any other air-purifying plant. Also, these are perfect for getting rid of other elements from the air, such as Xylene and Benzene, which can be found in building materials and paints.It requires weekly feedings in summer and monthly feedings in winter.
6. Spider Plant:
It is one of the top three air purifying plants which is great at removing formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and other toxins from the air. These plants easily adapt to the environment and do not require much attention.
7. Snake Plants:
This is a flowering plant which removes up to 107 pollutants from the air. It can be identified by bordered leaves, which are green in color, while the mother-in-law species has a yellow color. It emits a great amount of oxygen at night and does not require any extra effort from gardening.
8. Golden Pothos:
It is a fast-growing air purifying plant, which looks like a slimmer and more refined version of the snake plant. It is considered to be perfect for the absorption of formaldehyde from the air. It is very easy to maintain and does not require any extra light to maintain it.
9. Peace Lily:
It is a very classy and delicate plant, which is extremely useful to have in a house. It is perfect for absorbing VOC. It is extremely useful to have in the house. It can get rid of Benzene, Formaldehyde, Xylene, and other pollutants in poorly ventilated areas.
10. Umbrella Tree:
This plant is oval-shaped, which has oval and glossy leaves. However, it is a bit toxic too, and is not considered to be suitable for people with pets and children at home.
11. Ficus Tree:
It is known for removing almost all the known pollutants from the air. It is perfect for removing formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
Working Of Air Purifier Plants
So how do these plants improve the air quality? The working of air-purifying plants is based on a 1989 NASA study in which the scientists collected a variety of plants and put them in chambers.
Then, they pumped in harmful gases like ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and Xylene. 24 hours later, they tested the quality of air in each chamber.
Different plants had the potential to remove these contaminants by different percentages. These plants turned out to be excellent at removing harmful indoor carcinogens. A carcinogen, for example, benzene, trichloroethylene, etc. is an agent in the atmosphere that can cause cancer in humans.
They do this by taking in the harmful gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them in their cells and roots. The larger the surface area of a plant’s leaf, the higher is the plant’s potential to eliminate the contaminants in the air.
Benefits Of Air Purifier Plants
- Air purifying plants do not just purify the air that we breathe, but they also have other benefits such as:
- They lead to increased positivity around you, and they help decrease the negative feelings of anxiety and sadness.
- They also help in reducing the levels of sound.
- They help reduce the levels of stress, and they also play an important role in the control of humidity and bringing it to optimum levels, which are appropriate for good human health.
- Air purifying plants brings about a cooling effect on the environment.
- These plants play a crucial role in keeping the air fresh due to the absorption of carbon dioxide and oxygen emissions in the surrounding air.
- Keeping them near devices in work areas increases the concentration of the worker. It also helps them do things with calm minds. This leads to an improvement in productivity, especially among people working on computers and other devices.
- These plants give out refreshing vibes and help people to recover quickly from mental fatigue and tiredness.
- The surroundings look not only spacious but also well maintained and clean.
- The kind of image they give out leads people to perceive the interiors to be expensive.
Alternatives To Purifier Plants
- HEPA Technology: HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. This technology has been used for many years for the filtering of particles. HEPA filters are able to trap microorganisms that are not visible to the naked eye, such as viruses, fungi, bacteria, etc. It is also a good alternative because it does not produce any harmful by-products amidst the purification process.
- Activated Carbon Technology: This technology uses activated carbon, a form of carbon that is extremely porous and has a very large surface area for maximum absorption. Due to this reason, these air purifiers can absorb smoke, odors, chemical emissions, etc. since there is chemical bonding involved, the trapped particles are not released back into the air.
- UV Technology: Air purifiers with UV technology are not able to kill airborne particles; however, they are efficient in killing germs like bacteria and viruses. For this reason, they usually come with a filter system ahead of the lamps that radiate the UV rays.
- Negative Ion: These air purifiers are dependent on negatively charged ions like oxygen, which attracts contaminating particles in the air and increases the weight to make them drop on the floor or attach on the wall and not remain in the air. It is an advanced technology; however, it is a little less effective compared to other air purifiers.
- Ozone: These types of air purifiers produce gas ozone. They are known to inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms but are not able to clean the air entirely. Ozone exposure can lead to lung-related problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
As we have already mentioned before, plants that absorb the toxic gases from the air are most suitable for improving air quality in a home. Aloe Vera is one of the most common plants that can help you purify your home’s air. Other options also include Areca Palm, Boston Fern, or even spider plants.
Air purifier plants cannot cure any disease that an individual already has. However, they do prevent these diseases and allergies by keeping the surrounding environment as clean and safe as possible. These can be considered to be preventative measures but not curative measures.
For a person who has asthma, any air purifier plant would be suitable. The only thing you need to keep in mind is if you have any allergy to any particular plant.
No, air purifiers do not have any side effects. However, if anyone is allergic to any particular plant, for example, aloe vera, he or she should avoid an aloe vera plant to purify his or her home.
The financial investment in the working of an air purifier does not depend only on the buying of the plant but also on the maintenance cost behind it. Apart from this, you will also have to provide fertilizers from time to time.
If you continue to get your allergies or if there are signs of bad odor from the plants, then we suggest that you avoid sleeping in a room full of plants. In that case, you should reconsider the choice of plants that you would keep in your home to purify the air.
The greater the area, the more number of plants you would need to purify your home completely. Generally, more number of plants results in a fresher environment.
Air purifiers work mechanically through artificial absorbents. On the other hand, air-purifying plants work naturally to give you a healthier atmosphere to breathe in. None the less, since air purifiers are machines, they’re more efficient in their work.