House Plants Effect On Home Climate
You don’t need to look much further than Instagram or home magazines to see how trendy house plants have become. The new obsession with indoor plants varies from the occasional potted plant or flowers to the more extreme indoor jungle. But why are more and more people opting to add house plants to their interior design?
For many people, this decision may be purely an aesthetic one – there’s something calming and comforting about a ‘green’ space indoors. But for others, the benefits transcend visual stimulation as scientists have proven many health benefits from keeping house plants. From mental health to your home climate, indoor plants offer a wealth of benefits all while adding to the aesthetic of your home.
Risks to your home climate
We know for a fact that the air we breathe outside can be heavily polluted by carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, and a whole load of other nasties. A recent study from the World Health Organization estimated that nearly 3 million deaths per year are linked to air pollution, highlighting the real threat of this issue. While air pollution is significantly lower in rural and less industrial areas, the air we breathe in our very own homes is often overlooked.
When you think about it, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious reason to question the air quality in our homes. Yet many indoor areas have witnessed a rise in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which include toluene and formaldehyde. These chemicals can cause dizziness, allergies and asthma, symptoms of “sick building syndrome”. Removing VOCs from your home can be difficult as they can be found in many household products, particularly those that have a high chemical nature (e.g aerosols, nail polish, paint).
While it would be challenging to remove all of these products from your home, simply introducing some house plants can limit the risk of VOCs and improve your home climate.
Why you should add house plants to your home
The nasty VOCs you find in products all-around your home can be treated with some well-positioned plants. It’s no secret that plants are natural air purifiers, removing carbon dioxide (as well as other harsh chemicals) and replacing them with oxygen. Although plants can make a huge difference to the air quality in your home, it’s also worth cutting out as many products with VOCs as you can. If you really need some products that contain VOCs, keep and use them in a room which can be well-ventilated and add some air-purifying plants to limit their effects. Rooms which are most often affected by these chemicals include the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms, but can include many others.
Some house plants also act as humidifiers in the home, adding well-needed moisture to the air. This is especially important in cold or dry climates where there is a natural lack of moisture in the air. Moreover, plants that add moisture to the air can help you fight colds or cases of flu and can even lessen the effects of itchy skin, all of which are symptoms triggered by dry air. Just place your humidifier plants in the rooms you use most and let them take effect. If you want to make sure your home air has a high humidity degree, just place an air humidifier in your space.
On the contrary, if you live in a warm and humid climate, you might wish to decorate your home with some natural dehumidifiers. These plants work by absorbing the extra moisture in the air and are a great combatant against damp, mold, and generally humid environments. Simply place dehumidifier plants in the rooms affected most by damp or humidity and enjoy the results as your house plant corrects your home climate.
As well as improving the air quality and improving your home climate, house plants have also been found to improve mental health. While this could be, at least partially, down to the air purifying qualities of plants, it’s also attributed to their bright, colorful displays. Whether it’s a beautiful bouquet or functional flora, adding bright color and natural decoration can keep spirits high.
What type of plants should you choose?
Not all plants are created equal, some require much more care than others so it’s important to choose the right one(s) for you. You’ll need to look into the care required for each plant, including how often it needs water, how much sun it needs, and if it’s pet-friendly.
For first-time plant parents, a low-maintenance house plant with air purifying benefits is ideal, such as a Pothos, Snake Plant, or Spider Plant. An added bonus with the Pothos and Spider Plant is their long growing vines which can be turned into separate plants, meaning you get potentially unlimited plants! The spider plant is a natural best humidifier and is ideal for beginners thanks to its easy maintenance and growth potential. If you’re more experienced with plant care or are looking for a challenge, the English Ivy, Boston Fern, and Peace Lily are all suitable alternatives. These plants remove chemicals from the air and are natural dehumidifiers.
Now you can be confident that keeping house plants is the perfect way to manage your home climate, improve air quality, and create an envy-inducing interior aesthetic.
- Clearing the Air: The Hidden Wonders of Indoor Plants – Phys.org
- This Houseplant Can Clean Indoor Air – Science News for Students