Did you know that we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors? And throughout the pandemic, that number has undoubtedly increased. On top of this, indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. While outside, we have to worry about car exhaust and manufacturing pollution, indoors we’re more concerned with the presence of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. VOCs are gases that have a number of both short-term and long-term adverse health effects. It’s essential to keep the presence of VOCs to a minimum inside of your home in order to maintain healthy indoor air.
How to Limit the Presence of Volatile Organic Compounds
VOCs are human-made and present in a lot of the chemicals and products that we use throughout our lives. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some of the products that are most commonly associated with VOCs include:
Hydraulic fluids, such as those present in your car
Paints and paint thinners
Dry cleaning chemicals
Glues and adhesives
This list is not comprehensive, there are many other common household items responsible for filling your home with VOCs. While you can replace some of the items with non-toxic options, VOCs are inevitable. Instead, what you should focus on is eliminating them as they circulate throughout your home. There are a few ways to do that, one of which is adding houseplants.
Add Some Greenery
Houseplants aren’t just a nice way to add some natural color and life to your home; they’re also a great way to improve your home’s indoor air quality! Since plants naturally use photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, they are constantly removing toxins from your air while increasing the amount of oxygen circulating throughout your home. This was proven in 1989, NASA performed an experiment that found that indoor plants were capable of removing volatile organic compounds from the air.
Certain plants are responsible for removing different types of chemicals from the air, and some are more effective than others. Here are some of the top plants we recommend and what they’re best at removing:
Bamboo Palm: it is known for removing chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde
Chinese Evergreen: this is an excellent option for households with no pets! This plant contains an irritant that can be toxic to animals.
Gerbera Daisy: who knew that these beautiful flowers were also great for removing air toxins?
Dragon Tree: If you have a room with low light, then this is a great option!
Pothos: This plant earned high praise in the NASA study and was proven to lower toluene, carbon monoxide, and xylene levels.
There are so many other plant species to choose from! You can find the plant that looks best in your home and will thrive in your specified conditions, all while also cleaning your air of harmful toxins.
Other Air Quality Solutions
Outside of limiting the products in your home that emit VOCs and adding houseplants to your design, there are other indoor air quality solutions to consider. Here are some of the top ones that we recommend:
Air filters - and makes sure to replace them every 30 to 90 days.
Humidifiers - maintaining the right level of moisture in your air is incredibly important.
UV lights - exposure to ultraviolet light will kill certain contaminants.
Ventilation system - this will help to circulate fresh air throughout your home while minimizing energy loss.
When it comes to purifying your home, there are so many factors and solutions to consider. Contact our team of experts for assistance in making the decision that’s best for you and your home. Visit our website to learn more about our services and product offerings, or give us a call to speak with a representative at (503) 783-8488.