Dec
26

How Interior Plants Impact On Relative Humidity and Dust

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Studies were conducted in a computer lab and a small office at Washington State University to test the effects of plants on humidity and dust..  Interior plants were placed around the sides of the room for a one-week period. Relative humidity and particulate matter were monitored.

Particulate matter was measured around the rooms on various surfaces away from the plants.  Dust was significantly lower throughout both rooms when plants were present than when they were absent.  Dust was reduced by as much as 20% with plants.  This study confirmed that the use of plants to remove particulate matter, which has often been used outdoors to control deposition, also is effective on the scale present in interiors. 

Clearly, water will transpire from plants that are added to a room.  What was not clear before this study, was whether the amount of transpired water was sufficient to make a significant or meaningful contribution to the overall humidity in the room.  Some even speculated that the increase might be so great that moisture damage could result. When plants were absent from the rooms used in this study, the relative humidity was very low, and often below the range of 30% to 60% recommended for human health and comfort.  When plants were added, the relative humidity rose significantly, but not excessively:  in one case, for example, relative humidity without plants averaged 25%, and with plants it averaged 30%.

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