When you go outside the city, do you feel the air you’re breathing is cleaner? Well, what if you could feel the same while coming home from outside or even in your car? Controlling air pollution may not be in your hands, but having an air purifier in the house is.
If you have too many rooms, you can even consider having air purifier plants in a few rooms. This will help you beautify the place along with cleaning the air inside. However, an air purifier working is way more vigorous than what a few plants can do.
Let’s check out both of them in detail to figure out how we can go about it.
Air Purifier Plants VS Devices
Air purifiers were first introduced to the world in 1963. However, plants have been on this planet before we came into existence. Nevertheless, both nature and technology have their own speed and capacity of working.
Let’s start with plants – something that you can have in your home irrespective of your need to have an air purifier.
Toxins Removed by Plants
We all know that plants breathe in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. This is how we manage to exist on a planet where oxygen is so little. However, apart from this, there are some other gases too that they do clean for us.
Some of the toxins that plants can clean for us are:
- Benzene: This chemical is naturally found in cigarette smoke, crude oil and gasoline. Industrial pollution can release it in the air directly or through water and land pollution.
- Xylene: Xylene is found in smoke, produced by burning coal or petroleum. Industrial pollution may release it indirectly through lad and water too.
- Formaldehyde: This gas not only exists in cigarette smoke, but is also released from wooden products, especially our furniture.
- Trichloroethylene: This chemical is present in many consumer products like stain removers, paint removers, adhesives and wooden finishes.
- Carbon Monoxide: This poisonous gas is released by our furnaces, boilers, dryers, water heaters, stoves, ovens, vehicles, generators, grills and lawn equipment.
- Ammonia: All our house cleaners used for windows, floors, furniture, drains, bathroom, toilet, glass and stainless steel have ammonia dissolved in it which can easily release into the air.
- Toluene: This gas can enter the air through paint thinners, nail polish, paintbrush cleaners, stain removers, glues and ink.
Now, there is no air purifying device that gives out oxygen for sure. In fact, many of them won’t cleanse these poisonous gases either. So, why are we installing them at home?
Toxins Filtered by Air Purifiers
The air we breathe mostly has many other particles that plants won’t clean. These are big particles like pollens, dust, soot and other solid pollutants that industries release in the air. In fact, we too contribute to this pollution if we’re using fuels in the kitchen or have chimneys instead of heaters.
Plants won’t absorb these bigger particles, but air purifiers work with filters. These filters will absorb all the particles and release clean air. Following are the particles that air purifying devices can filter for us:
- Pollen: The pollen grain itself is not a pollutant, but it is definitely covered by a few and can cause allergies.
- Dust: This is the most common pollutant that can come from anywhere – the soil outside, from pets, food debris or even dead skin.
- Smoke: This is a mixture of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, water vapour and nitrogen oxides. Air purifiers are designed to filter the bigger particles while the left over can be cleansed by plants.
- Bacteria: They may not be pollutants, but are definitely harmful to us. They are naturally occurring and can be filtered by HEPA filters only.
- Pet Dander: If you have pets at home, their skin and fur will be released in the air which you might be allergic to.
- Mold Spores: They’re a type of fungi, again not really a pollutant but can cause diseases and allergies when you inhale them.
- Volatile Organic Compounds: They’re gases released by paints, fluids, cigarettes, perfumes, hair sprays and printers. The gases mentioned above (benzene, xylene, etc.) are all VOCs. Very few air purifiers can clean them.
- Ultrafine Particles: They are particles which are smaller than 100 nm produced by heating, cooking and burning wood. Very few air purifiers can filter them.
In a way, both air purifiers and indoor plants contribute to cleaning the air together. While the device takes care of cleaning the bigger particles, plants will breathe in the gases.
So, let’s take a look at which plants and which devices can we use.
5 Best Air Purifiers You Can Use
When you’re looking for an air purifier for home, the most important features you need to consider are its capacity and multi-tasking ability. Today, air purifiers also have temperature control. In fact, many of them are purifiers-cum-fans.
Following are the best available in the market:
This air purifier by Dyson has a pure HEPA filter that captures 99.97% allergens and 0.3 microns from the air. It is a 3-in-1 device, that purifies air to the fullest, acting as a heater in the winter and as a fan in summer. So, it’s a fan, a heater and an air purifier.
Removes: Dust, pollens, mold spores, allergens, pet hair and bacteria
Additional Features: Heating, Cooling, Automatic sleep timer and shut-off
This was one of the first air purifiers by Dyson that would work as a fan too. It is still popular, especially in places where the climate is hot and humid. This too uses HEPA filters, having a capacity to detoxify 99.97 degrees of pollutants.
Removes: Allergens, pollen, dust, pet dander, pollutants and bacteria
Additional Features: LCD display to show airflow level, quiet-downs at night and works as a fan too
This model is suitable for large rooms or may be the whole house. The additional feature of this air purifier is that it is Wifi enabled and compatible with Alexa as well as Siri. However, the best part is that the Dyson Pure Hot Cool Link app allows you to control it even when you’re not home.
Removes: Pollen, dust, pet dander, mold spores, odour, organic volatile compounds and bacteria
Additional Features: Works on auto mode, 3-in-1 heater, cooler and purifier, Wifi-enabled, compatible with Siri & Alexa and can be controlled remotely
This is another smart 3-in-1 model by Dyson, that purifies 99.97% pollutants & gases as well as 0.3 microns, along with heating and cooling according to the temperature outside. It is Wifi-enabled and can be controlled through the Dyson Link app from wherever you are.
Removes: Pollens, dust, mold spores, smoke, pet hair, nitrogen dioxide, volatile organic compounds, ultrafine particles (PM 2.5) and bacteria
Additional Features: Auto-mode, heating, cooling, night mode, LCD display, Wifi-enabled and can be controlled remotely through app
If you’re looking for an air purifier for your car, then this is the best one out there. The GoPure Compact 200 air purifier by Philips has a dual filtration technology – using both HEPA and HESA, removing 99% toxic gases and air pollutants.
Removes: Toxic gases, pollens, dust, smoke, pet hair, odour and bacteria
Additional Features: 3-stage filtration, indicates air quality and is easy to install
5 Indoor Plants that Clean the Air
All plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. However, very few of these clear the other toxins that I mentioned above. In fact, every plant will take only some of the toxins from the air. Hence, I have provided you with a list of 10 plants that you can grow at home and will detoxify all the poisonous gases as well:
An easy to grow indoor plant, the devil’s ivy is also known as Pothos. It takes indirect light and needs water only when it’s dry. It clears xylene, benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.
These beautiful flowers are available in the form of seeds for you. you’ll be getting a pack of 50 seeds along with the instruction to grow them, which is very simple. It successfully removes ammonia, xylene, formaldehyde and benzene.
This is one of the few plants that clears toluene from the air along with ammonia, xylene and formaldehyde. They will flower 300 days a year, taking indirect sunlight and water only once or twice a week. You’ll get their seeds along with some other plants.
This is a plant you would probably want to grow in your bathroom. This is because it removes bad odour and faecal particles from the air. Moreover, it needs indirect light and needs simple, humid conditions to grow.
You’ll receive this plant in a hanging basket. It is the best air purifier for pets, removing carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and xylene from the air. It is not just great for your home but also offices and factories.
To Sum it Up
I’ve listed 5 air purifiers and 5 indoor plants that can together cleanse the atmosphere in your home. The point is, we don’t know what we are breathing right now. The regular items that we use and the very furniture we sit on emit pollutants in the air too.
By using a combination of air purifier devices and plants, we can keep our inner environment free from air pollution. So, what do you say, shall we head to the store and check them out?