With all of Jenna’s lung problems, we’re constantly watching the quality of the air in our home. I was very interested when I came across an article in Natural Solutions magazine that talked about the way house plants can help detoxify the air in your home. A former NASA scientist, Bill Wolverton, developed high-tech air filters that actually look like real plants, called Phytofilters. I have to say that they do look amazingly lifelike, but I still prefer the real thing. If you do too, here are five houseplants that do exceptionally well at removing the formaldehyde that’s found in carpeting, plastics and synthetic fibers and that’s continually leaching into your air:
- Spider Plant – Does best in medium to bright light. Water thoroughly and let soil dry out between watering.
- Peace Lily – Blooms in medium light. Keep soil slightly moist.
- Bamboo Palm – Keep in medium to bright light. It thrives in humid environments.
- Janet Craig (Corn Plant) – Keep it in bright light but out of direct sun. Let the soil dry between watering.
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Snake Plant) – Very durable (I like that!) and grows well in all light situations. Be careful not to overwater.
Other things that we’ve done or are doing (or avoiding) to help with the air quality in our home:
- Installed all hardwood and ceramic floors on our main level (and wish it was in Jenna’s bedroom too).
- Sweep and dust frequently
- Limit the number and size of stuffed animals (our pulmonologist said the larger they are, the worse they are for harboring dustmites)
- Routinely wash and dry stuffed animals
- Installed blinds on windows instead of drapes, which collect dust
- Installed an air filtration unit and a humidifier on our furnace
- Monitor the level of humidity in the entire house (too much encourages dustmites and mold populations)
- DON’T use a humidifier in Jenna’s room (Pulmonologist said this makes it harder for kids to breath & encourages dustmite populations)
- Rarely burn candles and when we do, we use soy or beeswax, which burn “clean”
- DON’T use aerosol air fresheners or dusting/cleaning sprays
- Jenna’s pillow and mattress are enclosed in allergen/dustmite protectors
- And, of course, we DON’T smoke or allow smoking in our home
Hopefully, you can use some or all of these ideas and you found the information helpful. If you’re doing something else that I didn’t list, please let me know in the comments! I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and information.