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5 Plants that Improve IAQ (Earth Day)

Maintaining good IAQ (indoor air quality) is important for Indianapolis homeowners. However, when improving IAQ you’ll want to ensure you’re not harming the environment in the process. Air fresheners and other cleaning products are full of chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which can actually worsen your IAQ as well as pollute the environment. Instead, choose a solution that benefits both your home and mother nature: plants!

Certain types of plants can naturally improve IAQ while also benefitting the environment. To celebrate Earth Day, the experts at Action Air spotlight 5 of these plants below!

1. Bamboo Palm

Bamboo palm is one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. Bamboo palm can grow with indirect sunlight, and only needs to be watered whenever the top layer of soil feels dry. Much like any other plant, be cautious of overwatering, which can promote mold, draw bugs and compromise plant health.

Bamboo palm naturally filters out benzene and trichloroethylene in your home. Benzene is produced from burning fuel sources such as gasoline, while trichloroethylene is produced from paint removers and adhesives. When inhaled, these chemicals can lead to headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Bamboo palm also acts as a natural humidifier for your home, further improving IAQ.

2. English Ivy

English ivy is another easy plant to grow indoors. The only differing requirement you’ll need is a hanging pot, as the vines droop down. English ivy can grow in both direct and indirect sunlight but be sure you adjust water levels accordingly, so the leaves don’t dry out. They require generous watering during initial growth but will later only need water when the soil is dry.

English Ivy helps to eliminate benzene and carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas produced from gas, oil, and smoke. Carbon monoxide is odorless and almost impossible to detect. Inhaling too much of this gas will decrease your body’s oxygen supply, possibly leading to death.

3. Aloe Vera

With the amount of health benefits Aloe Vera already has, improving IAQ shouldn’t be a surprise. Since aloe vera is a desert plant, it can thrive in harsher conditions. You only water aloe vera every few weeks or when the soil is 1-2 inches dry. Be careful not to overwater, as this can rot the leaves.

Aloe vera is another benzene killer, but its benefits don’t stop there. Inside aloe vera leaves is a gel. This gel can be used to alleviate pain from cuts, burns, and other injuries. Aloe vera can also help with healing and reducing the redness of cold sores and acne.

4. Rubber Plant

Rubber plants require little care to maintain. Rubber Plants live well in indirect light, and only require water when the soil is dry. The only thing you’ll need to remember is its size. If kept healthy, rubber plants can grow up to 8 feet tall, so be sure to leave them enough room.

Rubber plants work well to remove formaldehyde, a chemical commonly found in the adhesives of furniture. This chemical can irritate your respiratory system, potentially causing coughing, chest pain, and even shortness of breath.

5. Weeping Fig

Despite the name, weeping figs aren’t an overly emotional plant, but they also aren’t as hands-off as the other plants on this list. Weeping Figs require bright, indirect light to grow. Watering should be whenever the soil is a few inches dry. Weeping figs also may need to be repotted several times due to their accelerated growth. If kept healthy, weeping figs can grow as tall as 10 feet.

Weeping figs can help filter out benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. Due to their potential size, these plants are best kept in the living room where they can help purify the air in a heavy traffic area.

This Earth Day, improve your IAQ while also protecting the environment! If you are experiencing poor IAQ, you’ll want to be sure the problem isn’t caused by your HVAC system. Contact Action Air for a full diagnosis of your IAQ for your Indianapolis home. Give us a call at 317-451-4371 to schedule an appointment and get started.