Home air quality – Plants that help and other ideas

I’m always looking for ideas to keep my home healthy. I was just reading an article from Dr. Mercola, who I feel is a good resource for all kinds of alternative health advice (I’m signed up for his daily email), about air quality in the home. I have a part of that article below. Though I have good ventilation in my home, I really like the ideas of 10 kinds of plants that can help with air quality in my home and home office. See what you think.

What’s the First Thing You Can Do to Improve Air Quality in
Your Home or Office?

Household plants like this African violet can help to
enhance your indoor air quality.

Bringing a bit of nature indoors with houseplants is an excellent idea and can help make you feel a bit more cheery

Living closer to nature may actually even help increase your quality of life.

“Household plants like this African violet can help to enhance your indoor air quality”

It was NASA, along with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), that conducted a classic study on the benefits of plants on indoor air.

NASA reported that houseplants were able to reduce up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. They recommended using 15 to 18 ‘good-sized’ houseplants in 6 to 8-inch diameter containers for an 1800 square-foot house.

And not just any house plants will do… here’s a list of the top 10 anti-pollutant plants rated best by The New Ecologist.com…

  1. The Feston Rose plant
  2. Devil’s Ivy
  3. Phalaenopsis
  4. English Ivy
  5. Parlor Ivy
  6. African Violets
  7. Christmas Cactus
  8. Yellow Goddess
  9. Garlic Vine
  10. Peace Lily

NASA, at the Stennis Space Center, also constructed what they called a BioHome, which incorporated bioregenerative technology with the ultimate goal of providing a life support system for permanent human habitation in space.

And inside the BioHome structure are common houseplants, which NASA says act as living air purifiers to absorb as much chemical pollutants as possible from synthetic materials in the living area.

If houseplants are capable of cleansing the air in the BioHome, imagine what they could do in your home!

Mold Is a Common Issue in Many Homes

One of the major motivating factors for me to seek to identify the highest quality home filter is that my home had a leak in the basement due to a crack in the foundation and the end result was mold.

Unfortunately this is all too common. Many homes are contaminated with mold as a result of flooding, water leaks from indoor plumbing, leaky roofs or leaky basement foundations.

You can use the search engine on this site to find recent detailed articles I have written that comprehensively addresses this, but I want to share a key principle that I learned that will save you loads of grief and potentially many thousands or tens of thousands of repair bills.

Please understand that no air filter in the world will eliminate mold problems. You must find the source of the water leakage and stop water intrusion into your home and make sure you control the humidity. The other key is to jump on this problem the moment you find it, do not delay as the longer you wait the more expensive the repairs will likely be.

Once you have been able to get the mold under control then you can introduce an air purification system based on the discussion below.

9 More Actions to Take Now to Enhance the Indoor Air You Breathe

Here’s more of my extensive list on some of the important and straight-forward things I recommend you do to help improve your indoor air quality…

Indoor Air Enhancement Action: Justification and Improvement Details:
1. Put a plan in place to keep your home clean naturally Using only natural plant-based types of cleaners will help eliminate potential air pollutants. Even your laundry detergent can be a source of air fumes. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to source my own brand of natural plant-based enzyme laundry detergent.
2. Redo a portion of your home with a natural material You may not be able to build a new natural home or office like I did, but you can make small changes using natural, healthy materials… like bamboo flooring for example.
3. Keep carpets vacuumed and cleaned using natural ingredients Your carpet can be a breeding ground and saturation point for dust and pests that can eventually spew pollutants into your indoor air. Keeping your carpet clean with vacuuming and natural shampoos can help keep your air cleaner. Central vacuum cleaners are best
4. Avoid potential toxi fumes from unfiltered water Unknown by many people, unfiltered chlorinated tap water is a potential source of toxic fumes. And it’s not just drinking water you need to be concerned about. Your shower can be up to 20 times worse than drinking unfiltered tap water. The solution here is quite simple… obtain a high-quality water filtration system for your home. If you’re interested in more info here, you can check it out on my site where I show several well-researched options from single faucet… to shower systems… to whole-house filtration units.
5. Utilize nontoxic cookware when preparing your food In addition to leaching potential chemicals into your food, non-stick cookware made of synthetic perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) can release toxins into your air. When heated to only 446° F, the coating begins to break down and releases fumes. My recommendation is for you to use cookware made from ceramic. You can also check out my site for more info on the types of cookware to avoid.
6. Don’t allow smoking inside your home This seems pretty straight-forward. But many folks worry too much about possibly offending smokers and allow them to smoke inside their homes. Don’t do it. Exposure to second-hand smoke can build up inside your home .
7. Ensure pets are kept well-groomed and clean Pets can be a breeding ground for pests and parasites that can become airborne in your home. Keeping your pet well-groomed is key to avoiding adding potential pollutants into your indoor air. You can go to my healthy pet site, hosted by an integrative, proactive, wellness veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, to get simple tips on how to keep your pets in healthy shape.
8. Get expert help if you have a mold problem due to a leak or water intrusion This is a serious issue and requires a remediation expert to solve. As I have had to deal with this type of major issue before myself, I speak from experience, and strongly recommend you seek a local remediation expert to resolve ASAP.
9. Avoid poor indoor ventilation issues Poor ventilation and filtration worsen your indoor air by trapping air pollutants All you have to do is open windows on open sides of your home for ten minutes every day and the cross ventilation will radically improve your indoor air quality

There is another step I recommend you seriously consider taking to help improve your indoor air quality… and that’s to install an air purification system.