A natural and attractive way to reduce the pollutants in your home is to get houseplants. Scientists at NASA discovered that certain plants act to filter out harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde and VOCs, from the air. They estimate that 15-20 plants can clean the air of an 1,800 square foot home. Place plants in the areas of your home where you spend the most time, such as next to your bed, TV and computer. If you want to really amp up the power of your plants, try the Andrea Plant-Based Air Purifier.
Certain plants are better than others at purifying the indoor air. According to the NASA studies, the following 15 plants are the most effective at cleaning indoor air:
- Areca Palm
- Lady Palm
- Bamboo Palm
- Rubber Plant
- Janet Craig (poisonous if ingested by pets)
- English Ivy (poisonous if ingested by pets & people)
- Dwarf Date Palm
- Ficus Alii
- Boston Fern
- Peace Lily (poisonous if ingested by pets & people)
- Corn Plant (poisonous if ingested by pets)
- Golden Pothos (poisonous if ingested by pets & people)
- Kimberley Queen
- Florist’s Mum (poisonous if ingested by pets & people)
- Gerbera Daisy
While plants are a good solution to improving indoor air quality, it is important to avoid toxic plants, especially if you have young children or pets in the house. Although some poison information has been noted above, please doublecheck the toxicity of every plant in your home by visiting Cornell’s database or the list maintained by the ASPCA.
For more information about using plants to purify your indoor air, try Dr. B. C. Wolverton’s book, How to Grow Fresh Air, 50 Houseplants that Purify Your Home or Office.