Plants and home air quality

Being in the HVAC business, we are always interested in things which improve the quality of air in the home. An example of this is houseplants. People love houseplants. They increase our quality of life and make us happy. But, plants also interact with the environment in a positive way, by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen and moisture as part of the photosynthesis process. They also can remove carbon monoxide, benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air, which creates a healthier environment for the family. Because of this, the presence of houseplants in the home will improve home air quality.


Different types of plants perform different functions. Here, we describe some of those functions and even offer some examples of the varieties of houseplants which perform those functions.

Plants for daytime

Spider plants, Corn plants, English Ivy and Philodendrons are plants which photosynthesize during the day, creating fresh oxygen in the home during the daytime. These are the perfect plants for living areas where people spend time during the day, such as home offices.

Plants for night time

Snake plants, aloe veras, Christmas cactus, Peepal trees, orchids, Neems, and Gerbera daisies are examples of plants which also give off oxygen at night, which makes them candidates for placement in the bedroom, so sleepers can be treated to fresh oxygen at night. Try putting these in bedrooms or dorm rooms.

Plants for special toxins

Peace lilies: remove common toxins and mold from the air. These plants are sensitive to the fluoride in tap water, and the leaves are poisonous to children and pets, so plan accordingly.

Philodendron, Chinese elm, Pathos, Weeping Fig: these absorb formaldehyde in the air, which is a common outgassing following the installation of new floors, walls, or carpets

Plants raise humidity

One of the benefits of having plants is that they release moisture into the air through their leaves. This will raise the humidity level in the home, which is welcome, especially as the Valley has such a dry climate.

How many plants do I need

For ideal benefits of the purifying qualities of houseplants. One 6-8” potted plant should be sufficient for an 100-125 square foot area. That means a 1200 sf house should have 10-12 6-8” potted plants, or smaller ones in multiples of two. Of course, larger plants could also be an option. Just consider the amount of leaf material during the selection process, since photosynthesis occurs in the leaves of the plant.

There are several studies which show that living plants have a positive effect on people in a number of ways. As air conditioning and heating experts, we recognize the value of using more than one method of increasing air quality, and encourage our customers to do so when possible.

Call us at King Plumbing, Heating & A/C if you need plumbing installation, plumbing repairs, rooter services or AC and heating service in the Phoenix Valley area at 480-907-0226.