Air Purifiers vs. Plants: Which Are Better?

air purifier If you’re like the average American, you’ll spend more than 90 percent of your life indoors. But while sitting inside reduces the risk of being hit by a flying golf ball or falling into a river, it can pose another serious health and safety risk: air pollution.

The chemicals used to manufacture common indoor items like drywall, rugs, furniture, mattresses, pressed-wood furniture, and paint can leach into the air for years. But although individuals with strong chemical sensitivities may immediately notice (and physically react) when a chemical-emitting item is brought into the room, for most, these chemicals are completely invisible and undetectable. Meanwhile, outdoor air pollution from factories, car exhaust, and farms can come indoors each time a door is opened or an air conditioner turns on.

A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter can remove many of these indoor impurities, improving your air quality and your health. But many of the benefits of HEPA filters are shared by household plants. When you’re comparing the two, which comes out ahead?

Benefits of Air Purifiers

HEPA air purifiers work by forcing the air in a room through an ultra-fine filter that traps small particles. If you’ve ever looked askance at a beam of sunlight in an empty room, you’ve likely seen millions of dancing dust mites, skin flakes, pollen, pet dander, and other tiny particles floating through the air. A HEPA filter reduces the number of these particles in any living space, taking some of the burden from your body’s own filters (from your nose hair to your bronchial cilia).

Although you’ll need to occasionally change out your HEPA purifier’s filter (more frequently during heavy pollen season), most air purifiers are extremely quiet, low-maintenance, and energy-efficient.

Benefits of Plants

Without plant life, life, as we know it on Earth, would quickly cease. And houseplants, unlike HEPA filters, actually produce oxygen, rid the indoor air of excess carbon dioxide, and absorb airborne toxins through their leaves.

But unless you live and work in a large greenhouse, it’s unlikely you can maintain enough plants to provide the same air-purifying benefits you can realize from a HEPA air purifier. And while plants can absorb toxic gases, they don’t have the same particle-zapping power as an air purifier.

We’re the Heating Repair Experts in the Greater Charlotte Area

Integrity Heating & Cooling serves both residential and commercial customers in nearly three dozen cities, towns, and neighborhoods in the greater Charlotte area. If you’d like the air you breathe to be cleaner, we can help. Give us a call today!

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