Blasting your air con all summer long can be expensive. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an affordable and environmentally friendly way to help keep your house cool instead? Well, houseplants are great for doing just that.
Did you know that when trees and plants “sweat”, they can cool themselves and cool the surrounding air? According to NASA’s Earth Science Study, trees and plants go through a process called transpiration. Water and nutrients are taken up by plant roots from soil and delivered to the stem and leaves as part of photosynthesis. Some of the water drawn up through the roots exits the plant through pores or stomata in its leaves, hence the sweating. As this “sweat” evaporates, heat is removed from the air, which provides a cooling effect.
Read on for a list of the top houseplants that can help keep your house cool during summer.
1. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
With its high-water content, it transpires and releases cool, evaporated moisture into the air. It also gives off oxygen, keeping you cool during those hot summer nights. This striking succulent is also known for removing toxins from the air, such as benzene and formaldehyde.
2. Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica)
The more foliage a plant has and the bigger the leaves are, the more moisture it will release back into the air. Varieties that tend to thrive in humid environments will take in water through their roots and then release moisture through the pores on the underside of their leaves or fronds.
3. Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina)
One of the few trees that grow well indoors, this leafy tree helps to keep the air inside moist and cool. Opt for a tall trunk with a bushy top that could serve as a little forest canopy for other plants below or around it. Be sure to position your ficus in medium light so it can soak up the sun.
4. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
This is another plant well-known for its ability to purify toxins in the air, and as such, it also has a high transpiration rate that will help humidify the air around it. Group your plants together so they can create their own little atmospheric ecosystem, improving surrounding humidity.
5. Palms (Arecaceae)
The green leaves of palms like Areca palms, fern palms, fishtail palm and lady palm feature small stomas that take in CO2 and release oxygen. An arrangement of palms is not only lovely to look at, but also creates a mini indoor rain forest, so it’s the perfect way to give your home a tropical feel during the summer months.
Looking for more ideas to beat the summer heat? Check out our Energy Efficiency page for more tips to keep you cool, and save on energy too.
You can also take your environmentally friendliness to the next level by going green.