I really love house plants. To me, houseplants add nice texture to the room and perk things up. According to research, they actually breathe a little life into the house.

NASA took a closer look at how houseplants may reduce indoor air pollution. Houseplants break up chemicals like benzenes (cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in many synthetic items around the home). Although the research was done in 1989, the results hold true today.

There are five major chemicals that are in our indoor air. The first one is benzene, which just a short term exposure causes irritation to eyes, drowsiness, increased heart rate, dizziness, confusion, headaches and in some cases even unconsciousness.

Ammonia is another chemical in our air and short term exposure to this can cause coughing, irritated eyes and a sore throat.

Exposure to formaldehyde causes irritation to the mouth, nose and throat and if it gets severe enough your lungs and larynx may swell.

Trichloroethylene may cause a headache, dizziness, excitement, nausea and vomiting and increased sleepiness and eventually coma.

Finally, xylene causes dizziness, confusion, headache, irritation to the mouth and throat, heart problems and coma.

The following houseplants are some of the ones that NASA suggest will help you keep you air less polluted:

The spider plant is one of the most popular and easiest to grow of all hanging or trailing houseplants. Although these hardy plants will survive in less than perfect conditions, the more perfect the conditions are, the more stunning the plant is.  Mature plants form tight rosettes of arching leaves and have small white flowers.

The bamboo palm comes from Central and South America and is slow growing. It is ideal as an indoor plant, providing very attractive foliage. If grown outside it needs to be watched closely but does well indoors in cooler climates.

peace lily is also a great indoor plant, according to NASA, to help clear your air. Also known as Spathiphyllum, they are a popular choice for homes and offices. Peace lily plants are some of the easiest house plants to care for. These plants have dark green leaves and white flowers. Be careful not to over water them,

The florist’s chrysanthemum is also suggested by NASA as being a great house plant to help clean your air. Florist chrysanthemums have big, beautiful flowers on top of a mass of dark-green foliage.

This is a member of the Asteraceae family, along with sunflowers, daisies, and marigolds.  In order to keep the blossoms fresh for several weeks, make sure you keep the mums in a cool place and are well-watered.

Finally, the Barberton daisy is a great house plant to clean your air. The Barberton daisy is the common name for the Gebera jamesonii, also known as the Transvaal or Gerbera daisy. The large range of striking flower colors has enabled this flowering plant to become a popular house plant choice.

These are just a few that can help keep the air in your home clean.