The air quality inside your home is one of the most important yet overlooked areas of green interior design. The range of remedies can range from rather expensive options like replacing carpeting or serious HVAC systems for moving air, to one of the least costly and also aesthetically pleasing – adding live plants to every room.
A NASA study shows that live indoor plants do indeed help to create a healthier environment inside your home. The study shows that
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases that pollute indoor air quality. They can be found in many common household products, including paint, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, glues and adhesives. Breathing these compounds causes symptoms that range from allergic reactions to respiratory tract irritation to more serious conditions like asthma and cancer.
There are now paints, carpeting products, and indoor cleaners that have low or zero VOCs. Regardless, NASA found that a house plant for every 50 feet will help reduce VOCs and improve home air quality.
Even the act of living and breathing inside your home adds to the problems for healthy air because human respiration removes oxygen, and emits carbon dioxide. If your home is extremely air-tight, over time the levels of CO2 can rise quite dramatically without some form of air transfer or cleaning.
Although all live plants take in CO2 and create oxygen, some are more efficient than others. Many of the best are very common and easy to find. The top indoor air scrubbing plants found by NASA are listed below (this plant list came from Zone10.com):
In Scottsdale, my favorite source for incredible indoor plants and creative plantscape design is Plant Solutions. They are passionate about green design, and have even developed an innovative solution called the living wall- a vertical installation of live plants which takes up very little floor space while adding multitudes of living plants to improve your indoor air quality. Green interior design addresses many areas, and it can sometimes be costly to implement, but live plants are easy to add and inexpensive.