4

votes

Cleaning indoor air

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 04, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I just read Kyle's answer to a question about aloe vera :

I keep a couple Aloe plants around. Easy to take care of and they clean the indoor air.

Is this true? And what can we do to make indoor feel and look like outdoor without having to clean big time? What plants are especially easy to take care of?

I'm very interested in this since I live in a polluted city.

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:47 PM

Aloe isn't particularly good at cleaning the air, but the aloe is super useful and its easy to take care of. I keep it, and a Golden Pothos, which is good at cleaning the air, but seems to be a bit more sensitive when I forget to water it. Snake Plant/Sansvieria is extremely simple to take care of. The Snake plant also removes Carbon Dioxide at night which is rare feature. They say it produces oxygen at night, but how could it with no sunlight?

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:42 PM

This is the Ted Talk and book that inspired me, I own the book and keep a couple of the best plants around.

4b8ce2e8143119b39e00d5705b76cfa6

(40)

on February 05, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Great TED Talk.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 04, 2012
at 05:39 PM

Hi, Korion. Yes, I sleep better. I breathe more easily, have fewer colds/flu. I have bad pollen allergies and it helped a great deal with those. There are also fewer bugs in the house. This air purifier and the Berkey water purifier are both a tremendous help for me.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 04, 2012
at 05:21 PM

I'd be interested in this too. I want to get plants for the greenery. Even better if they make my apt nicer to live in.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 04, 2012
at 05:03 PM

Interesting! What difference did it make for your life? Did it help you sleep, did it prevent you from being sick, ... ?

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7 Answers

4
2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

on February 04, 2012
at 07:41 PM

Yep, plants have been cleaning the air since the beginning of their existence. And as mentioned, NASA did a study on the top air cleaning plants.

Here are more links!

Wikipedia List of Air Filtering Plants (with info on what they are good at filtering, and whether they are poisonous) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_air-filtering_plants

Another one that looks right up your alley, though must admit I didn't watch it, TED talk on How to Grow Your Own Fresh Air http://greenspaces.in/blog/ted09/

4b8ce2e8143119b39e00d5705b76cfa6

(40)

on February 05, 2012
at 02:12 AM

Great TED Talk.

3
Fe33d1321dad116f6fedd60266d0498b

on February 05, 2012
at 08:41 PM

NASA has actually done some fantastic research on this. There's a book that condenses that information called "How to Grow Fresh Air" (http://www.amazon.com/How-Grow-Fresh-Air-Plants/dp/0140262431); more recently (but the same basic information) there's been a TED talk on the topic: http://www.ted.com/talks/kamal_meattle_on_how_to_grow_your_own_fresh_air.html. I have a lot of these plants. (also, fyi: plants will make your home more humid. that bugs some people, and if you have a LOT of plants (thus a LOT of humidity), can cause problems. so keep an eye out and tweak as necessary.) That wikipedia article someone else linked is pretty rocking, too.

Mechanical air filters- honeywell, etc- are just that, filters. They capture dust (and pollen, and dander), basically, they don't capture specific molecules of formaldehyde, benzenes, etc. Quite good in their own way, but a different mechanism entirely than plants.

"Ionizing" air filters are basically crap. The worst ones ionize-to-the-point-of-ozone-production, which isn't good for you, and the "best" ones are simply ineffective at everything. I'd stay away from anything that claims to be germicidal, simply because I don't need it and think that for me, a reasonably healthy non-immune-impaired person, it would be ridiculous and counterproductive. I need some germs in my life.

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:42 PM

This is the Ted Talk and book that inspired me, I own the book and keep a couple of the best plants around.

1
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 05, 2012
at 09:36 PM

I note that none of those "best plants" are aloe vera. I'm not sure how good it really is at cleaning the air. If it were good, I don't know that I'd want to be using it on my skin and cuts... :)

Plants in the home DO sound like a good idea. Assuming you don't have my brown thumb of course... :)

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 04, 2012
at 08:24 PM

Our house is plant city, and that may be great for our indoor air quality (unless you are really sensitive to mold), but we needed a HEPA filter (that has an extra "plasma" filter, supposedly for odors and bacteria) in a couple rooms before we actually noticed a difference in indoor air quality.

We can tell if the filter was accidentally turned off because we wake up with stuffed up noses.

1
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on February 04, 2012
at 04:43 PM

I use an AirOasis purifier.

Here is an excerpt from their website:

  1. The germicidal UVC lamp destroys germs that pass through the rays of UV light.

  2. Light rays from the UVC lamp react with the nano Nickel HCT??? catalyst to produce catalytic molecules.

  3. Catalytic molecules seek out and destroy carbon-based molecules by converting them to harmless carbon dioxide and water. What are carbon-based molecules? A few examples are: Odor causing VOC???s Smoke Mold Bacteria Viruses

and other aeroallergens...

This breakthrough, originally developed by NASA, does not rely on filters and is virtually maintenance free. In fact, in many circumstances our AHPCO technology reduces contaminants more efficiently than a HEPA filter without the high cost of replacing filters on a regular basis

Since air is not being forced through thick filters, large fans that require high amounts of electricity are not needed. This creates an extremely energy efficient air purifier that operates on a fraction of the electricity required by most air purifiers.


I have used AirOasis for circa seven years and have been very pleased with it. I also use HEPA air filters, and a salt lamp.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 04, 2012
at 05:39 PM

Hi, Korion. Yes, I sleep better. I breathe more easily, have fewer colds/flu. I have bad pollen allergies and it helped a great deal with those. There are also fewer bugs in the house. This air purifier and the Berkey water purifier are both a tremendous help for me.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 04, 2012
at 05:03 PM

Interesting! What difference did it make for your life? Did it help you sleep, did it prevent you from being sick, ... ?

0
32f944225bef6fcbcec17dbdf23bc533

on January 20, 2013
at 09:25 AM

Hi Fakey McFakerson, Can you elaborate on this comment:

"Ionizing" air filters are basically crap. The worst ones ionize-to-the-point-of-ozone-production, which isn't good for you, and the "best" ones are simply ineffective at everything."

What is the point of ozone production? How would you know what that is? I just bought a couple himalyan salt lamps as ionizers and didn't know it could be harmful and now I'm a bit worried. Thanks

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