Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

The Highly Effective Air Cleaner in Your Yuma Home: a Houseplant?

Yuma area residents are fortunate to have a climate hospitable to using plants as a highly effective air cleaner. In 1989, NASA was studying the effects of plants on indoor air quality and found that some common houseplants were effective at removing harmful chemicals from the air. They reported that plants, roots and soil could trap and convert gaseous pollutants, helping to clean the air. 

Many of the plants on their top-16 list grow well both indoors and out in Southwest Ariziona. The plants include:

  • aloe vera
  • peace lily
  • golden pothos
  • Chinese evergreen
  • bamboo or reed palm
  • English ivy
  • heartleaf, selloum and elephant ear philodendron
  • snake plant
  • red-edged and cornstalk dracaena
  •  dracaena
  • spider plant

Each of these removes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home’s air to some extent, but data are not available that indicate their individual capacity to clean air.

VOCs are chemical gases that many products in your home emit, especially when the air is warmer inside. It’s important to dilute the concentration because VOCs can cause anything from headaches and respiratory distress to more serious problems related to your kidneys and liver.

The VOCs that these plants can remove include formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. Formaldehyde is found in many wood products, benzene is an emission emitted by vehicles, and trichloroethylene comes from solvents and some dry cleaning chemicals.

The NASA study found that having 15-18 of any or all these plants in pots with diameters from 6-8 inches did a reasonable job of cleaning the air in an 1,800-square-foot home.

Besides placing plants throughout your home as a highly effective air cleaner, cutting down on the products you bring indoors also helps. When choosing paint, furniture, shower curtains, a dry cleaner, carpeting, cleaning chemicals and air fresheners, look for low-VOC products that carry that label.

Your home’s indoor air quality is important, since it’s the air you breathe the most. To learn more about other options to use as a highly effective air cleaner, contact Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Company. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for the Yuma area since 1952.




/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air cleaners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock