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House Plants: Beyond a Pretty Corner Filler

Watering house plants

House plants have an inherently calming effect and are aesthetically pleasing. But a recent report by Science Daily says your friendly fichus may be more than just a pretty leaf.

Scientists now believe that plants, along with the integration of smart-sensor-controlled air cleaning technologies, could improve indoor air quality in a cost-effective and sustainable way in the future.

This theory is based on the known facts that plants improve air quality through several mechanisms, including:

  • Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis, cleaning the air and reducing allergens.
  • Plants increase humidity by transpiring water vapor through microscopic leaf pores. Through this process, plants are improving indoor air quality by boosting humidity – especially helpful in the warm Florida climate, providing a cooling effect (helping your air conditioning!) and saving money on electricity.
  • Plants can passively absorb pollutants on the external surfaces of leaves and the plant root-soil system, improving indoor air quality which is 12 times more polluted than outdoor air. They can also scrub the air of cancer-causing volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene.

Why all the concern regarding indoor air quality? Highly polluted indoor air can contribute to a wide variety of short- and long-term health effects, ranging from eye, nose, and throat irritation, too much more serious complications, such as damage to your lungs, kidneys, or central nervous system. You may have even heard of “sick building syndrome,” a general feeling of ill-health that may be experienced in some buildings.

What plants should you choose? The experts recommend a couple of larger plants per room. While a Boston fern is truly perfect in size and function, they are difficult to keep alive inside. A golden pathos is a popular and easy-to-grow plant, as is a Peace Lilly or Spider Plant.

While designing air cleaning systems with smart technology that integrates “plant power,” maybe a thing of the future, adding some plants to your décor has definite benefits. And don’t forget to contact Lindstrom Air Conditioning & Plumbing at (800) 813-1824 to learn more about our indoor air quality services.

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