Cold temperatures and snow can mean a lot of time spent indoors during the winter months. With closed windows and a lack of air circulation, pollution inside the home can be at an all-time high. This can be especially dangerous for small children, elderly adults, or those with allergies or asthma.
But researchers have discovered that houseplants are one of the quickest and most effective filters of many common air pollutants. Their porous leaves remove chemicals from the air and their roots absorb and filter out toxins.
If you’re missing the fresh air this winter, here are some of the best plants to have in your home.
The Chlorophytum Comosum (otherwise known as the spider plant) is a perennial favourite among houseplant enthusiasts. It is composed of long, grass-like leaves that extend their many “legs” up into the atmosphere. Spider plants grow easily in moderate light, making them a good choice for winter. The spider plant is able to remove poisonous gases such as formaldehyde and xylene from the air. Try placing this one in your kitchen or near your fireplace, where fumes and toxins are frequent.
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If you live with anyone struggling with asthma or allergies, English ivy could dramatically reduce their symptoms. It has the ability to absorb benzene and formaldehyde, which are common off-gases of numerous household chemicals, paints, and particle boards. Even better, ivy is a beautiful plant that will grow anywhere and everywhere if you let it.
Known as nature’s humidifier, this plant will actually work to keep moisture in the air. This is especially important during some of the driest months of the year, when artificial heat and bone-chilling temperatures dry out our skin. The fern works to release moisture into the air and removes toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene. If anyone in your home struggles with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, the Boston fern will be of great aid.
One of the most aesthetically pleasing houseplants is the peace lily. Starting small, these beauties can grow up to 50 inches tall. Peace lilies make great gifts for anyone, as they are relatively low-maintenance and easy to care for. They do well in low light conditions and thrive in comfortable indoor temperatures. The best news? Like many of the plants on our lists, they neutralize toxic gases like carbon dioxide and known carcinogens such as formaldehyde. However, the peace lily is mildly toxic if consumed, so be sure to keep them out of reach from your animal.
Aloe Vera is well known for its healing benefits, but did you also know it may clean the air you breathe? This dual-purpose plant hero filters gas emissions and toxic materials such as benzene, which can be a by-product of household cleaners and paints.
Adding one houseplant to your home this winter will make a difference, but why stop at just one? To ideally clean your air, consider placing two to three houseplants in each room, especially in areas like the kitchen or near the garage, where indoor air quality is often poor.