Summer is fast approaching, and that means one thing: heat. If you’re short an air conditioner, or concerned about emissions or power bills, you’re probably looking for a more affordable, environmentally conscious way to cool down. Have you considered plants? Adding the right plants to your home will not only keep temperatures down and keep air quality high, they will make almost any space look a little more natural. You might be wondering how all this works. Well, all plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and return oxygen, which improves air quality. Additionally, at elevated temperatures (typically from significant exposure to sunlight), plants will give off water in the form of a mist to keep themselves cool. Think of it like sweating, but for plants. The plants on this list do these two things, but they also improve air quality in another way: they remove harmful chemicals from the air. Consider these seven plants for your living space:
7. Aloe Vera
Traditionally used in lotion and well known for its medicinal properties, aloe vera is also effective at climate control. It is a hardy plant of the succulent variety, doing quite well in warmer temperatures. It requires little watering and is relatively resistant to insect pests, making it easy to care for. In the home, aloe vera can absorb residual formaldehyde and benzene, cancer-causing chemicals that are precursors for other compounds. For best results, keep this plant in the sun, and don’t water it too frequently.
6. Areca Palm
credit: our houseplants
The areca palm hails from Madagascar. It is known by other names, such as the butterfly palm for the shape of its gentle curving leaves, and the golden cane palm or yellow palm for its color. The areca palm has been known to remove from the air harmful pollutants like toluene and xylene, both of which are mildly toxic chemicals used in various house and household applications. Additionally, at approximately six feet in height, the areca palm becomes an effective humidifier, moisturizing the air of the space it’s in. Choose one with a broader base to manage it easier.