Plants that help us beat the summer heat
Who doesn’t love summer? The day has many hours of light, the weather is good to go to the beach, to the mountains… But what happens when it’s so hot that stones burn and houses turn into ovens? How can we enjoy a cool home without having to abuse air conditioners and paying a fortune for the electricity bill?
It’s getting hotter and hotter. The Meteorological Service of Catalonia (SMC) has predicted that the mid-century climate could have almost thirty more days of summer than two decades ago and the temperature in our country could rise by an average of three degrees, which would also lead to an increase in the number of days over 30 degrees.
Plants that cool the air
Before this scenario of rising temperatures, what can we do to keep the house cool while being environmentally friendly and helping to curb climate change?
In addition to doing things like installing curtains, blinds, opening and closing windows to take advantage of the running air, not using the oven, and avoiding using as much heat-emitting appliances as possible, there is a simple and economical way to keep your house cool: having certain indoor plants.
According to the professor Dr. Leonard Perry—Professor Emeritus of Horticulture at the University of Vermont, USA—in the article Benefits of Using Plants Indoors, there are some studies done by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) in which it is said that, among other benefits, such as purifying the air, some houseplants also help to combat heat.
The six most cooling plants
Indoor plants have a number of benefits, such as purifying the air and improving people’s mood. And, according to studies done by NASA on the effects of the plant perspiration, they also make our homes cooler. The work explains that, when the air is heated, plants release extra moisture (they transpire), and this is how they cool the environment.
There are six plants that stand out for their purifying and cooling effect:
- Boston Fern. NASA discovered that this plant is a natural air purifier (it removes volatile organic pollutants such as formaldehyde) and an excellent humidifier.
- Aloe vera. This plant has a high water content and is very famous for its medicinal properties. Now, you will also know it for its air-cooling properties.
- Dracaena trifasciata or the mother-in-law’s tongue. It also contains a lot of water and therefore humidifies the air. In addition, the impact of the sun can be avoided by placing a few in front of a window, as it tolerates direct sunlight very well.
- Peace lily. This beautiful houseplant has a better cooling effect if it has large and lush green leaves, which release a greater amount of oxygen and moisture.
- Ficus elastica or rubber fig. The larger its leaves, the greater the cooling power.
- Pothos. It is a well-known plant, present in many homes. It has great moisturising and purifying qualities.
This new feature of indoor plants makes us see them not only as a decorative element, but also as purifying and cooling, and as an element that will help us have a healthier, cooler, more beautiful, and more sustainable environment.