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Air Conditioner Effects on House Plants

Here at ProAttic Houston, we provide residential and commercial Houston air duct cleaning service in order to improve the air quality in our valued Houston client’s properties. In this blog entry, our Houston ductwork sanitization service team will detail the effects that air conditioning and ductwork can have on another form of life – our plants!

Do air conditioners harm plants?

Air conditioning changes the internal environment in your home, including humidity levels and the presence of dust particles. Sudden drastic air quality changes can stress plants – but if you’re cautious and careful and specific about your air conditioner operation, you can protect plants from damage – and even increase their resistance strength against environmental stressors.

Air Conditioners and Plant Humidity

Air conditioners cause air to become drier – which can cause plant leaves to dry out, potentially getting crusty and yellow. You can counteract this by providing them more moisture. Put your plants on a shallow tray of pebbles with half an inch of water; this water will release into the air slowly, allowing your plant to drink it. You could also use a plug in humidifier or – if you have a small room – put a portable humidifier next to your plant. Regularly spray your plants with a fine mist from a spray bottle, and once a month, put your plants in the bathroom and turn on the shower so that the room fills up with steam.

Swamp Cooler Air Conditioning

If you have a swamp cooler rather than a central air conditioner, your houseplants can benefit from the increased moisture – similar to how the breeze from the ocean or a lake feels moist. Swamp coolers move dry air through a unit filled with cool water. Just be careful to regularly clean the interior of your swamp cooler unit to fight the chances of mold.

Protecting Plants from Air Conditioner Breezes

The cold breeze from an air conditioner can damage plants – especially plants that need a hot environment or are more sensitive to cold weather. We recommend moving plants a few feet away from air conditioning vents when you turn the air conditioner up or down.

Cleaning Dust from Plants

The first time you turn on an air conditioner can sometimes cause allergies or respiratory issues due to the presence of dust and allergens within the air conditioner that are then sent throughout the air. Plants can have a similar reaction to humans- as they require the ability to absorb moisture and C02 through their leaves (which is called transpiration) – and they have issues doing this when leaves have even a thin coating of dust. Try wiping down plant leaves with a moist cloth on a biweekly basis – it will make the look cleaner, shinier, and greatly increase their health.