February 28, 2017

Breathe Easy: How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality



 Oxygen is one of the basic needs of the human body. Thankfully, the Earth’s atmosphere is full of it. However, with human society’s current habits, a person living in the United States spends roughly 21 hours indoors, as per studies put out. With television, video games, and the general comfort of being in a controlled environment, many stay inside of instead of hiking, camping, or even reading a book outdoors. Staying inside our houses have negative effects such as vitamin D deficiency, among other issues. But what most don’t think about is the quality of your indoor oxygen, or if there is really enough to keep you in peak performance.

Houses when they first were built were much draftier than houses built today. A drafty house meant that there was more fresh oxygen coming from outside. Nowadays, with energy efficiency in mind, residences are built to keep as much as possible in. With less fresh air from outside, harmful chemicals that are released from fresh paint, household cleaning supplies and furniture among other factors, build up. Without a decent flow of fresh oxygen and a buildup of chemicals in the air, our homes are not keeping us as safe as most would think.

NASA has conducted numerous studies on specific kinds of plants that generate a larger amount of oxygen than most, as well as purify the air. The NASA study was conducted for two years and studied about 19 plants. The study found that besides more oxygen creation, that the plants also purified other chemical contaminants better than others. The plants range in their sunlight and watering needs and I encourage you to do your own research before buying..

One of the plants that were studied is the aloe plant. Many already use the aloe plant’s gel for sunburn but this plant is also good for purifying your air. The aloe plant has been used throughout history even going as far back as Ancient  Egypt. Another is the peace lily, which can improve air quality by up to 60%! Peace lilies are meant to be in a damp and shady environment and work great in a bathroom. They also cut down on mold by absorbing the spores and using them as nutrients. The other plants in the study range from ferns to various types of bamboo.

In general, there are plants for any area of the home. Some will require more light, less watering, and fertilizer at certain times. A higher quality of air has many benefits for your health in general. Plants in the home have also shown to help reduce overall levels of stress. I personally have some of the plants from this list. And I think that I breathe pretty easy indoors. ‘Til next type - M.

-Written by Michael Dour