Many homeowners find themselves preoccupied with the decorating, maintenance and even remodeling of their home but few may stop to ask themselves: What is the most important thing when it comes to your home? While many people value having a well-decorated and organized home, that may not be the most important thing. Few homeowners may not stop to consider when it comes to their home, how clean is the air that they are breathing? While you may live in a home with new windows and doors, that are great for the heating and cooling bills, this may be seriously affecting the quality of the air circulating throughout your home.
The EPA has released testing that states that many homes have two to five times more air pollutants than are found in the air outside. Pollutants in the home can be the result of particleboard, paints, paint strippers, varnishes, pesticides, poorly vented furnaces, air fresheners, plastic shower curtains, and caustic cleaning products. But before you give up and consider moving into a tent there is an easy solution to the problem. One simple solution to improving the air quality in your home is to add houseplants. NASA has done extensive study on the ability of houseplants to filter household air and cited the following plants among those that can help filter some of the most common pollutants:
· Janet Craig-If you find it difficult to care for houseplants this is one of the easiest to maintain. The Janet Craig is able to grow in low light and can tolerate considerable dryness. In addition this plant has been found to easily filter formaldehyde, a chemical that is found in wall paneling and particleboard.
· Mother-in-Law’s Tongue-This is another plant that is very easy to maintain, because it needs very little water or light. In fact, many gardeners say that it seems to do best when neglected. So it’s a great plant for virtually anyone! It is critical to be very cautious, however, as this plant is poisonous if ingested. Be sure to keep it out of reach of children and pets.
· English Ivy-Most homeowners think to use English ivy outdoors only as ground cover, but it can be used as a houseplant. It is important to keep in mind though that English ivy needs humidity to thrive, so it is recommended to mist the leaves and water regularly. It also needs to be cut back periodically to control growth but, other than that, should last for many years.
· Gerbera Daisy-While this plant may not be considered a “true” houseplant, the gerbera daisy is a great flowering plant. Keep in mind though that it does require a lot of careful handling. Gerbera daisies need regular watering to maintain constant moist soil, but at the same time you also need to be careful not to over water it. Successful gardeners will state that though this plant requires extra care, it is well worth it when the flowers bloom!
· Peace Lily-The Peace lily is a perfect plant for parts of any home that get little or no sun. Keep in mind that it should never be put it in direct sun, and the soil must be kept evenly moist.
Using any of these houseplants can help improve the quality of the air in your home and add a decorative touch to any room. One of the biggest benefits to using houseplants is that they are highly cost effective. Most houseplants that can be purchased at your local nursery are quite affordable. Recommendations include using about fifteen to eighteen houseplants for every 1800 square feet of your home or office building. Check with plant experts in your area for recommendations on plants that will thrive in your weather climate.