A healthy indoor climate is essential for productivity and well being. If you often feel tired, limp or unable to concentrate, this could be due to air pollution. Especially in winter, when there is not enough ventilation, many pollutants accumulate in the air. Air-purifying plants can help break down pollutants. The green wonder plants filter pollutants from the air and improve your indoor climate.
A healthy indoor climate has a positive effect on productivity and well-being. With certain plants in the room, the air purification almost takes care of itself. The houseplants not only generate oxygen, they also filter certain pollutants from the air. The plants even regulate the humidity. You can find out here which indoor plants in particular clean the air and thus ensure a good indoor climate in the bedroom, office, etc.
Pollutants in the air – causes & effects
Especially in closed rooms such as B. the office or the apartment accumulate numerous pollutants. These gaseous substances are invisible, but they can have serious health effects. The sick building syndrome, also known as building sickness, describes a pathological condition of people that only manifests itself when they are in a certain building or room. When that person leaves the building, the symptoms go away. Those affected often have general well-being complaints and complain of tiredness, insomnia or lack of concentration. The causes of the building sickness can be traced back to a high level of pollutants in the air.
The most common indoor pollutants
Everyone probably knows that car exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke contain pollutants. But you probably didn’t realize that there were poisons in furniture or cosmetic products. In the following, you will find out what the most common indoor pollutants are, what causes pollutants in the air and what effects they have on health.
- Formaldehyde: This pollutant is most commonly found indoors. It comes into the home from car exhaust, cigarette smoke or from using a gas stove. In addition, some textiles, adhesives or disinfectants contain formaldehyde. The health consequences of formaldehyde are irritation of the mucous membranes, eye irritation, headaches or disorders such as insomnia or nervousness.
- Benzene: Benzene is a hydrocarbon and can be found in vehicle exhaust and in cigarette smoke. It also arises during combustion processes, e.g. by using a fireplace. Apartments near garages or petrol stations or on busy streets have particularly high benzene levels. A high intake of benzene can lead to changes in the blood count and cause symptoms such as tiredness, weakness, dizziness or palpitations.
- Xylene: Xylene is found in paints, dyes, rubber and pesticides. It is harmful to human health if it is absorbed through the skin or the respiratory tract. Effects are e.g. Memory and orientation disorders, dizziness, headache or shortness of breath.
- Polyethylene: This pollutant, also known as polyethylene, is particularly common in cleaning agents. Inhaling it can irritate the airways and cause symptoms such as dizziness, headache or drowsiness.
Indoor plants as pollutants killers
Now you are probably wondering how you can get these pollutants out of your home. The solution: air-purifying indoor plants! We owe this discovery to NASA. Their experts wanted to find out how they can improve the polluted air in space stations. The result of their study showed that certain plants can filter pollutants from the air. For example, the green lily was able to reduce the level of formaldehyde in the room by 86% in one day.
So, in addition to a good ventilation system, plants are a great help in removing pollutants. The green air fresheners not only convert CO2 into oxygen, but are also able to filter pollutants from the air. Rooms that are not often ventilated or that are not well ventilated benefit from air-purifying plants. These dramatically reduce the health risk from polluted air.
Pollutants in the apartment: what to do if the air is bad?
We humans spend most of our time in closed rooms, if there is insufficient exchange of indoor and outdoor air, the air is thick. Furniture, carpets and other floor coverings in particular, as well as paints, varnishes, cleaning agents and electrical appliances emit unhealthy substances that collect in the air in the room.
If too many pollutants such as ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, trichlorethylene or xylenes occur, this can have an impact on our health. Headache, tiredness, nausea and irritation of the mucous membranes are just a few of the possible consequences. Bad air in the bedroom also affects our sleep. Fortunately, regular ventilation and air-purifying plants improve the indoor climate in the long term.
How do plants filter pollutants from the air?
Can’t imagine how plants can filter toxic pollutants from the air and convert them into healthy oxygen? It sounds too good to be true – but the inconspicuous plants really can! The plants absorb the pollutants through small stomata in the leaves. Via the transport system, the pollutants are released through the roots into the earth, where they are ultimately broken down and eaten by microorganisms. The roots of the plant also have the ability to absorb pollutants directly from the air and convert them into nutrients such as glucose.
Air-purifying plants: our top 10
Basically, one plant per 9 m² is recommended, i.e. around two plants per room, in order to achieve an effect. But the rule is: the more plants, the better the air. We have selected the 10 superstars of air purification for you:
Green lily (Chlorophytum elatum)
The green lily is a master at absorbing formaldehyde and also filters xylene from the air. It feels comfortable in almost any room and is therefore particularly popular. If you don’t have a green thumb and your plants mutate into crispy brown plants after a short time, you shouldn’t give up your dream of a green home! You should definitely give the green lily another chance. It is very frugal and its narrow, green and white leaves make it a decorative air purifier. Tip: If you cut off the flower shoots and put them in water for 1-2 weeks, roots will grow. This is how you can breed a whole army of green lilies!
The green lily prefers to be in partial shade. That means you shouldn’t put them in the blazing sun, but also not in a dark corner. It is best to place the green lily in a place that has indirect sunlight. The room temperature should be around 20 degrees. The green lily is also non-toxic and is therefore one of our top favorites.
Single leaf (Spathiphyllum)
The single sheet is an all-rounder in air purification and can filter benzene, formaldehyde, polyethylene and xylene from the air. The plant itself looks graceful with its long leaves and white flowers and is an eye-catcher in every room. The single sheet feels comfortable in rather shady places and can also be placed in dark places. Direct sun doesn’t like it at all. Normal indoor temperatures are suitable for the plant. However, if it gets colder than 18 degrees, the growth of the plant will slow down. The leaf is poisonous and should be kept out of the reach of animals and children.
Dragon tree (Dracaena marginata / reflexa)
The dragon tree gives your four walls an exotic flair. At the same time, it contributes to a fresh and pleasant room climate. The dragon tree successfully fights against benzene, formaldehyde, polyethylene and xylene. He likes to stand in a light or partially shaded place, but does not like direct sunlight. The optimal temperatures are between 19 and 25 degrees. Warning, the dragon tree is poisonous!
Bow hemp (Sanserif)
Bow hemp – also popularly known as mother-in-law’s tongues – has an extravagant appearance and hard, elongated leaves that are alternately light and dark green. He is very easy to care for and is absolutely satisfied with weekly watering. The bow hemp is also used in Feng Shui, as it contributes to a balanced atmosphere in your apartment. It loves the sun and can also be placed in a very sunny place such as on the windowsill. The temperatures can get a little higher up to 29 degrees. The bow hemp also filters benzene, formaldehyde, polyethylene and xylene from the air. Warning, the bow hemp is also poisonous!
Common ivy (Hedera helix)
The ivy has an extremely high air purifying effect and is one of the most suitable plants, especially at removing benzene in the air. But it also fights against formaldehyde and xylene, prefers to be in partial shade and likes cooler temperatures between 15 and 22 degrees. Ivy is suitable for B. perfect for the staircase or anteroom. Warning, ivy is very poisonous! In any case, it should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Chrysanthemums are often kept on balconies, but are also ideal as indoor plants. In autumn they bloom in bright colors and give the room freshness. But even without flowers, chrysanthemums make a major contribution to the indoor climate, as their leaves clean the air. They filter benzene, formaldehyde, polyethylene and xylene from the air. You like to stand in a sunny spot, but don’t want it to be too warm and only feel comfortable up to around 18 degrees. You shouldn’t taste chrysanthemums, they are also poisonous.
Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebeleni)
Palm trees bring a little bit of holiday mood into your home and rid you of the toxic substances formaldehyde and xylene. Palms like a lot of light and a lot of warmth as they originally come from tropical areas. The dwarf date palm is non-toxic and is therefore also suitable for the children’s room.
Aloe Vera (Real Aloe)
Aloe Vera is great for the bedroom as it also produces oxygen at night. It also helps with minor burns or insect bites. To do this, cut off a piece of a sheet and hold it on the affected area. The aloe vera ensures a better room climate for a comfortable and restful sleep.
Efeututu (Epipremnum aureum)
The efeututu is also known as the golden efeututu and is an extremely popular houseplant. The climbing plant can grow both vertically and horizontally. The efeututu is one of the best air-purifying plants and frees the air from benzene, formaldehyde, polyethylene and xylene. The leaves of the efeututu are poisonous and should be kept away from children and pets.
Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)
The Ficus Benjamina cleans your air from the pollutants formaldehyde and xylenes. Weeping figs often reach a height of 5 meters and can therefore also be placed on the ground. It is best to place the houseplant in a sunny place in your living room.
Bonus tip: rubber trees bring good air into the home
The large leaves of the rubber tree act as perfect air filters. The houseplant not only filters CO2, but also pollutants from floor coverings and wall paints. The air-purifying plant is particularly ideal for newcomers and people without green fingers. Placed in a bright and sunny spot, the houseplant feels comfortable and forgives one or the other dry spell.