After a long winter with the windows closed up tight, the air in your home might be a little stale. Since we do spend the majority of our time indoors, it’s worth the effort to take some steps to improve your air quality.

Did you know that some plants are better than others at filtering the air in your home? In the 1980’s, NASA completed a study to seek out plants that would efficiently filter out volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air in space stations. They found that a number of common houseplants worked double-duty at improving air quality! Here are five plants that you can bring into your home for effortless air cleaning:

Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii) – Inexpensive and easy to find, this plant is sometimes called the “bedroom plant.” You should keep one in your bedroom to filter formaldehyde from the air as you sleep.

Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) – A common staple in most homes, the ficus looks great and is known to filter out pollutants emitted by carpeting and furniture.

Aloe vera – Easy to maintain and great to have on hand in case of minor burns, the aloe vera plant also helps remove formaldehyde and benzene from the air (typical byproducts of cleaners and household paint).

Spider plant (Ficus benjamina) – This attractive plant is safe for pets, extremely resilient and excellent for combating carbon monoxide and xylene.

Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium) – If you have a nice sunny spot near a window and would like a little colour, opt for a mum. The blooms will effectively filter benzene, commonly found in paint, plastics and detergent.

Here are a few more steps you can take to improve your indoor air quality:

1. Opt for hardwood or laminate flooring. If you have carpet in your home, vacuum regularly and deep clean at least once per year.

2. Purchase an air purifier.

3. Regularly change the filters in your dryer, vacuum and furnace.