One of the top five environmental risks to public health are the indoor air pollutants in your apartment or office. These pollutants build-up due to stagnant indoor environments and they are present in greater amounts than people should be breathing in. Working and living in spaces rife with air contaminants and lacking proper ventilation can lead to ‘sick building syndrome’, which is characterized by nausea, dizziness, headaches, nose, and eye and ear irritation. Indoor air quality is of the utmost importance because people spend more than 90% of their time indoors.
Upholstery, furniture, cleaning products, and synthetic building materials in homes and offices are known to emit a wide array of toxic compounds, such as formaldehyde. Bacteria, pollen, and molds can also cause indoor air pollution as outdoor air contaminants find their way into the buildings through ducts and AC’s. Poorly-ventilated and small spaces only make things worse.
Apart from using these services, an easy and affordable option to maintain and continuously improve indoor air quality is by using houseplants. Plants can purify the air as they absorb the particulates when they take in carbon dioxide. Beyond air quality, using houseplants can also reduce stress and blood pressure levels thereby improving health.
Some of the top houseplants that can be immensely useful in improving your Indoor Air Quality Dubai or elsewhere are:
- Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)
This is a beautiful evergreen plant and it is incredibly easy to care for it, even if you don’t possess a green thumb. Peace Lily requires very little water or light to remain healthy, which makes it one of the best plants to keep at home for improving air quality. According to NASA, this houseplant is the most efficient in removing chemicals, such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. All you have to do is put this plant in a dark corner, water it once every week and it will purify the air around it.
- Chrysanthemum Morifolium (Florist’s Chrysanthemum)
Also known as Hardy Garden Mum or Florist’s daisy, this houseplant is another popular option that you can use for improving air quality. This plant requires a medium amount of water and direct sunlight and with the right type of soil and proper care, it can produce plenty of beautiful blooms in different colors. Not only do they brighten up your space, but they can also help in cleansing the air of many chemicals that are commonly found in homes like ammonia, formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, trichloroethylene, and benzene.
- Epipremnum Aureum (Devil’s Ivy)
This houseplant is also known as Golden Pothos or Devil’s Ivy and is native to the Soloman-Islands, but also grows in other parts of the world. The plant boasts small heart-shaped leaves and it is often sold in decorative hanging baskets as it is an evergreen plant. It doesn’t need direct sunlight, but should be kept near a window. Caring for the plant is easy and in return, it is extremely efficient in cleaning pollutants from the air including formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene.
- Dracaena reflexa (Red-Edged Dracaena)
An evergreen shrub, this plant is also known as Pleomele, and it produces narrow, yellow, green or cream-coloured leaves. Small white flowers begin to bloom once the plant starts to mature and it is a very low-maintenance plant. Undoubtedly, the Dracaena Reflexa looks cool and you have to keep it in an area of indirect sunlight. It is regarded as one of the most efficient plants for removing formaldehyde from the air and other toxins including xylene, trichloroethylene, and benzene.
- Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake Plant)
Often called as Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, this is another evergreen houseplant that can be helpful in improving indoor air quality. As per NASA, it is one of the best options for absorbing airborne toxins, including benzene, nitrogen oxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. It is a native of West Africa, but the plant has risen in popularity in the last few decades and is now growing all over the world. When you are looking for an indoor plant, it is an excellent option because it can handle a low amount of lights for long duration. It requires little maintenance and grows well, both inside and outside.
- Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palm)
Most commonly recognized as the Broad-leaf Lady Palm or Lady Palm, it is another houseplant that can benefit your home or office. It is the ideal fan palm to have in a dark corner because it can tolerate low light, a wide range of temperature and high amounts of water. This evergreen plant is native to Asia, but it thrives in indoor and outdoor environments and cleanses the air of ammonia, toluene, xylene, and formaldehyde.
- Anthurium Andraeanum (Flamingo Lily)
A beautiful evergreen plant, it is also known as Lace leaf or Flamingo Lily. It has gorgeous flowers and according to NASA, it is incredibly effective in getting rid of airborne xylene, toluene, ammonia, and formaldehyde. However, it should be noted that those who don’t have a green thumb should not grow this plant. It needs tons of indirect light and requires high humidity environments, which can be difficult to achieve. A humidifier can come in handy for resolving this situation.
- Hedera Helix (English Ivy)
Often called European Ivy or English Ivy, this is a popular houseplant to have when you want to filter airborne toxins from your home environment. It is very effective in eliminating toxins, such as xylene, formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene from the air. Moreover, English Ivy has also proven to be extremely helpful in reducing mold in your home. This plant does spread aggressively, due to which it should be kept indoors or else it will invade other plants around your home. Caring for English Ivy is quite easy and you will be able to enjoy a cleaner home.
- Gerbera Jamesonii (Barberton Daisy)
Native to Eastern Africa, Barberton Daisy is a beautiful flowering plant, which was originally intended for outdoor use only. Nevertheless, it has become quite common for people to put them in containers and use them as indoor plants. This can be a good decision if you are looking for plants that can help you to improve indoor air quality. The plant is known to eradicate a number of toxins that are found in the air. If you decide to get this plant, you need to have an indoor area with plenty of light.
- Ficus Benjamina (Weeping Fig)
Also called the Ficus tree or Weeping Fig, this popular houseplant can be an excellent option for purifying the air inside your home. It can absorb a number of toxins that usually find their way in the air inside your home and can have a negative impact on your health. You can grow this plant both indoors and outdoors, as long as there is plenty of bright indirect light. It doesn’t need to be placed directly under the sun as this might cause the leaves to burn.
- Aloe Vera
Not only is this plant easy to care for, but aloe Vera is also known to have some serious health benefits. First and foremost, it can be useful for absorbing formaldehyde in the air. Apart from that, the plant’s leaves also comprise of a clear liquid that’s full of enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and numerous other compounds that have antibacterial, healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Bamboo Palm
This plant is considered a superstar for filtering out formaldehyde and thrives in bright light or full sun. One of the reasons the plant is so effective in filtering out toxins like benzene and trichloroethylene is that it grows pretty big, which makes it an exciting and pet-friendly addition to your indoors.
Although some of the best houseplants can improve indoor air quality, some of these plants are toxic and dangerous to have when you have young children and pets at home. You have to be careful when choosing the kind of plants you want inside your home.
Furthermore, not everyone has the time to care for the plants, no matter how little attention and care they need, and they may die, which means you have to deal with poor air quality once again. Luckily, there are chemical-free AC cleaning and other services that can improve indoor air quality without putting your health at risk.