Clearing the air in your home doesn’t necessarily have to mean revealing secrets to a loved one. It could have more to do with reducing pollutants in home. According to studies conducted by the EPA, the average home features 2-5 times as many pollutants as you’ll find outdoors, and in some cases, test sites showed as much as 100 times the amount. That’s a scary thought considering all of the exhaust and other toxins in the air outside. But you don’t have to populate your house with unsightly air purification equipment in order to get the safe, clean air you crave. Instead you can fill your home with plants. Here are a few that will go a long way towards removing pollutants from your interior air.
- Spider plant. If you’re the type that tends to have a black thumb rather than a green one, this hardy indoor plant is a good choice. It’s fairly resilient in the face of abuse, so even if you fail to water regularly, it should remain in relatively good form. And while it’s spewing oxygen into your environment, it will be soaking up harmful toxins like carbon monoxide (which most plants absorb), along with benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene, a hydrocarbon found in solvents, plastic, clothing, and other textiles.
- Aloe. We all know that aloe vera has a slew of indications for health and beauty. We slather it on sunburns, dab it on scrapes, and use it for all manner of other skin conditions. By cracking open a stem of this succulent you can enjoy many benefits. But most people don’t realize that aloe plants are also a great option when it comes to cleaning interior air. They absorb chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde, both of which could be produced by the solvents you use to clean your home. So rather than letting them float in the air, think about getting an aloe plant. It’s easy to grow, especially in sunny spots, and you’ll enjoy plenty of benefits in addition to cleaner interior air.
- Pothos. There are several different varieties of pothos, which is a fairly common house plant due to its hardy and fast-growing nature. The vine-like tendrils of this plant can spread incredibly far and are populated by lush, heart-shaped leaves, making them great to hang or place atop bookshelves or even kitchen cabinets that don’t go all the way to the ceiling. And the fact that they target formaldehyde in the air certainly doesn’t hurt. As a bonus, pothos tends to flourish even when not exposed to direct sunlight.
- Ficus. This small, leafy tree is renowned for its air filtration capabilities, in particular its penchant for absorbing benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, all of which can be found in furniture and carpet manufacturing. Ficus is a fickle plant, however, so you need to play close attention to the light it gets and the amount of water you give it. But it is also has the potential to be one of the longest-living houseplants when treated right.
- Gerber daisy. If what you want is the bright pop of color that flowering plants can provide in your home, then Gerber daisies are the way to go. You can select from a wide variety of colors or even place several throughout your home. These plants like lots of light and you’ll have to pay attention to keep them alive, but the end result will be a beautiful, living addition to your dÃ©cor that also happens to clean your air, sucking up both benzene and trichloroethylene (which could infiltrate your interior air if you bring home a lot of dry cleaned items). The benefits of professional AC maintenance will go a long way towards improving the state of the air in your home, especially if you opt to include HEPA filters in your HVAC system. But plants are designed to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, so fill your home with gorgeous greenery if you want to breathe easy.