Simple Solution for Fresher Office Air: the Houseplant
Houseplants and other decorative foliage are common accents used to provide some greenery and improve the looks of both residential and commercial spaces. An often overlooked benefit of houseplants is their function as air cleaners and producers of oxygen. Scientific research has shown that some types of plants help filter indoor air by removing certain kinds of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. By including several houseplants in your indoor work spaces, you can provide fresher office air for everyone working in or visiting your office. Here are descriptions of several plants that can help with indoor air quality while also adding a natural, decorative touch to your workplace.
Aloe Plant: A common and easy-to-grow succulent, aloe is useful for removing the by-products and fumes of cleaners and paints. These substances include formaldehyde and benzene. As a bonus, the gel-like substance inside the aloe plant can be used in first aid to help heal and relieve burns and minor cuts.
Spider Plant: Spider plants are very hardy and can survive and thrive even if your “green thumb” isn’t perfect. These plants filter out substances such as benzene, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. They are also effective at removing xylene, a solvent that can be brought into your home or office via leather or rubber goods or printed materials.
Snake Plant: The snake plant is a sturdy plant that can thrive under low-light conditions. It is good for filtering out formaldehyde and similar substances found in cleaners, toilet tissue and personal care products. Snake plants are good choices for bathrooms where these products are frequently used.
Chrysanthemum: The chrysanthemum is a beautiful, colorful flowering plant that requires substantial amounts of direct sunlight. These plants remove benzene that is commonly found in plastics, glues, paints and detergents. Not only do chrysanthemums help provide fresher office air, they are also attractive and highly decorative for an office environment.
Red-Edged Dracaena: This hardy plant can grow tall and strong, filling up space from floor to ceiling. The red color at the edge of the leaves provides a subtle counterpoint to the natural green. This plant is effective at removing VOCs such as formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethelyne, which can be found in paints, lacquers and fuels such as gasoline.
Weeping Fig: A weeping fig, or Ficus Benjamina, is a good choice for carpeted rooms and offices where VOCs from flooring materials are common. A ficus will help filter out the trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde that can be found in carpeting and commercially manufactured furniture.
Peace Lily: The peace lily produces impressive white blooms and can survive with minimal watering in low-light areas. It is useful for removing several types of VOCs, including formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene.
Bamboo Palm: Also known as the reed palm, this thin-leafed plant is among the best options for use against benzene and trichloroethylene. It also can be used to combat formaldehyde coming from furniture or flooring. You can successfully keep a bamboo palm in shady spaces indoors.
Chinese Evergreen: The Chinese evergreen plant, with its dual-colored leaves of dark and light green, is a sturdy and easily maintained indoor plant. The longer the Chinese evergreen is left out, the more effective it becomes as an air filtering source, making it a consistent source of fresher office air. They are most effective in low- or medium-light environments.
English Ivy: English ivy is a small plant that removes formaldehyde and, surprisingly, also has been shown to reduce the amount of fecal matter particles that can end up in indoor air. This plant’s unique qualities make it a very good choice for an office environment. Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information on using houseplants and indoor foliage to obtain fresher office air, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!