Effective Air-Cleaning Plants

Air purifiers are extremely good at cleaning the air, but if you want to clean indoor air in the ‘greenest way’, house plants are a good alternative. NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America examined common houseplants to find out which of them are the most effective at removing pollutants. Here is the list of seven house plants that proved to be good air-cleaners:

1. Bamboo Palm

This small palm that was especially popular as a houseplant during the Victorian era features long, slender leaves. What’s great is that the bamboo palm is very undemanding – it likes dry soil, low light, and infrequent fertilization.


2. Peace Lily

The peace lily is also very undemanding and prefers low light. Plus, it blooms throughout the entire year. This house plant gets rid of many chemicals, including benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

peace lily

3. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

This house plant with leaves in a variety of dark green and silver green colors is extremely durable and can survive almost any conditions. If taken care of, it can be your favorite house plant for decades.


4. English Ivy

Unlike many other vines, the growth of English ivy can be controlled and you may rest assured that it will not overpower other plants. This popular Ivy eliminates xylene, formaldehyde and benzene, which makes it very useful in a room with plastic furniture, printers, fax machines and computers.


5. Corn Plant

This tall-growing house plant is a little factory converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. However, the corn plant requires rich soil for full development, and quickly exhausts it.

6. Mother-In-Law’s Tongue

Unlike the previous plant, the mother- in-law’s tongue is very easy to grow. It is a good choice for dim spots and is practically indestructible.


7. Philodendron

This house plant with shiny and dark green leaves is quite popular and hard-to-kill. The philodendron is especially good at filtering out formaldehyde found in carpets, floor coverings, fabrics, and pressed wood.


Do Air Purifiers Really Work?

We used to think that the air outside is dangerous to our health a decade ago because of the increasing pollution caused by burning fossil fuels and common organic pollutants. As a result, we stay inside our house worry free and feeling secured.

Well, the truth is that the air inside your home is actually more polluted than the air outside. The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Office and Development conducted a study and found that the levels of about a dozen organic pollutants inside homes are two to five times higher compared to the air outside.



What types of pollutants can an air cleaner remove?

Air purifier can remove the following indoor air pollutants:

1. Particulate matter

  • viruses


  • bacteria


  • molds


  • dust mites


  • particles created from combustion appliances like cooking stoves

           cooking stove

  • tobacco smoke


  • animal dander

           animal dander

  • pollen


  • smoke


  • dusts



2. Gaseous pollutants come from the process of combustion and from using building products:

  • pesticides


  • cleaning products

           cleaning products

  • varnishes


  • paints


  • adhesives


  • cooking stoves

           cooking stove 2

  • tobacco smoke

           tobacco smoke

  • vehicle exhausts

           vehicle smoke


To better answer the question “Do air purifiers really work?”, we must first determine whether the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the use of air purifier.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • Air cleaning may be useful when used along with source control and ventilation, but it is not a substitute for either method.
  • The use of air cleaning devices may help to reduce levels of smaller airborne allergens or particles.
  • While air cleaning devices may help to control the levels of airborne allergens, particles, or, in some cases, gaseous pollutants in a home, they may not decrease adverse health effects from indoor air pollutants.
  • The use of air cleaners alone cannot ensure adequate air quality, particularly where significant sources are present and ventilation is insufficient.
  • Clinicians frequently recommend that patients who have asthma or allergies use HEPA air filters in HVAC systems or in portable air cleaners.
  • Regardless of how efficient and effective air- cleaning devices are in removing pollutants, a question still remains about their ability to reduce adverse health effects.
  • An air cleaner’s ability to remove some airborne pollutants, including microorganisms, is not, in itself, an indication of the air cleaner’s ability to reduce health symptoms.


Now to answer the question “Do air purifiers really work?”, the answer is YES. But how well they perform will depend on the air purifier brands. While air purifiers are not enough to combat the air pollution inside our homes alone, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still consider them as an option if the ventilation method is not applicable in some weather conditions or when the contaminants level outside is undesirable.