Embarassing ... House plants are really just asthetic.

HuduVudu

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This article though not scientific sums up what I am seeing empirically:

I finally broke down and bought a CO2 monitor (AirThings) and have been monitoring the CO2 in my house. Now with a house full of plants, I see absolutely no effect of the houseplants on indoor CO2. There could be a small effect that is too small to be noticeable but I need a gross overall effect to ensure lowered household CO2.

One interesting thing about getting the monitor though, is how high the CO2 gets in the house. I have fully aired the house and the outside air seems to be at 470ppm and then I didn't open the windows for 36 hours. The CO2 level quickly crept up to 1900ppm. Holy cow!

So it looks like it is back to the drawing board for me.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Yes, I've pointed this out this simple fact to folks for 20 years: unless your plants grow and add as much mass as you and your family eat each day, they cannot offset the CO2 you breathe out metabolizing that food. :)
 
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HuduVudu

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Yes, I've pointed this out this simple fact to folks for 20 years: unless your plants grow and add as much mass as you and your family eat each day, they cannot offset the CO2 you breathe out metabolizing that food. :)
Whelp Randy, how come you didn't read my mind and tell me these things sooner. :p

I like the idea of food as metabolizing mass. That makes the understanding clearer the article just gives weight and it is hard to visualize that.
 
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HuduVudu

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I think there’s some level of placebo effect in a lot of what we do. If we think it’s healthier, it helps us feel healthier, whether it actually is or not :)

Agree with that completely. It is cutting the end off of the turkey effect.

I am very skeptical of things that aren't predictive. I want to see actual tests to confirm otherwise I stay skeptical.

Of course I wanted to believe this would work and it had some basis in reality, but when the hypothesis hit the fan it didn't work out.

This is been the story of my life. Make up a hypothesis and then throw it to reality only to have it fail miserably.
 
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paulsz

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I think there’s some level of placebo effect in a lot of what we do. If we think it’s healthier, it helps us feel healthier, whether it actually is or no

I read a few articles during a building science/air quality course I took a while back. A lot of the articles tested for this kind of stuff and it seems like a good chunk of it is in fact a placebo effect. Having plants as decorations and "living" inside your house seems to make people happier.
 

ReefBeta

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Turn your house into greenhouse and you will see some impact, just like farmers need to supplement CO2 in greenhouse for optimal growth. :p

Though I always have an idea to setup a sealed grow environment with fast growing plants (like grass of some sort?), basically a tiny greenhouse, to have the CO2 inside it brought down. Then run the skimmer through it, basically an alternative to CO2 scrubber, but with plants. Not sure if the cost and maintenance for that worth the cost of CO2 scrubber media though.
 

Thaxxx

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What readings do you get inside the house closed up for awhile, verses having the windows open? I see the outside air was 470ppm. Did it get to those numbers inside?
 
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HuduVudu

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What readings do you get inside the house closed up for awhile, verses having the windows open? I see the outside air was 470ppm. Did it get to those numbers inside?
Windows open and fan running (not sure the CFM) for about 2 hours brings the house down to 470ppm. My assumption this is outside air. I haven't taken the sensor outside to actually test because this seems to be inline with CO2 estimates for professionals on outside air. I did test what would happen if I sealed the house for a length of time. To fill in some missing details, house is 1500 ft2 with 10 foot ceilings so 15000 ft3 for total volume. There are two humans and one cat in the living area. From the time that lowered the CO2 to 470ppm to the time that I couldn't take the CO2 anymore was 36 hours and the level when I finally opened the windows again was 1900ppm.

Hopefully that fully explains it.

Also I don't have a PH probe anymore so I don't have the benefit of showing the affect on my tank but from previous readings it was pretty significant. The PH when from 7.9 - 8.1 to 8.1 - 8.3 when I could keep the windows open all day.

EDIT: I forgot to mention I have an anaerobic digester that gets a small ball of meat every day this also adds CO2 but doesn't remove O2.
 
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ReefBeta

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The affect is pretty significant. I have been closing my window and air exchanger for the last couple days because of the wild fire. The indoor CO2 level went from 400~500 to 900~1000. The impact is visible in both PH and alk consumption.
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mcshams

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I think there’s some level of placebo effect in a lot of what we do. If we think it’s healthier, it helps us feel healthier, whether it actually is or not :)
In medicine here. I've studied the placebo affect and it simply is amazing. If you can convince someone that something is working or effective (or they convince themselves) the results almost defy logic.

As for Randy's and others' comments, yes, you would have to create a wall-to-wall greenhouse for your house with enough biomass of plants that could effectively equal CO2 production from animal organisms. That would be a LOT of plants. The rare, occasional plant would not be measurable.

As someone stated, flowers and plants have general positive psychological affect on most people! We have mostly fake plants.. but a lot of live/cut flowers.. and we love them.
 

taricha

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I like the idea of food as metabolizing mass. That makes the understanding clearer the article just gives weight and it is hard to visualize that.

Or think of it this way - If you only ate plant material that had grown in your house then the CO2 would balance.
:)
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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EDIT: I forgot to mention I have an anaerobic digester that gets a small ball of meat every day this also adds CO2 but doesn't remove O2.

What is that for?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Or think of it this way - If you only ate plant material that had grown in your house then the CO2 would balance.
:)

That's the ticket to a low global footprint!

And probably an appropriate BMI as well. lol
 
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Anthony Scholfield

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Im curious, you never said how many house plants and what sizes they were in this large space?

I have 20 medium to large plants in my less than 600 sq ft apt and it is just me. That is a house full of plants, haha. Also certain plants are better at taking CO2 and giving oxygen than others. Can't say ive ever tested but the PH in my tanks stays at 8.4 all winter long with the apt. closed up.
 
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HuduVudu

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Im curious, you never said how many house plants and what sizes they were in this large space?

I have 20 medium to large plants in my less than 600 sq ft apt and it is just me. That is a house full of plants, haha. Also certain plants are better at taking CO2 and giving oxygen than others. Can't say ive ever tested but the PH in my tanks stays at 8.4 all winter long with the apt. closed up.
You can check my build thread to see pictures. I have 8 large palms and about 6 small snake grass and one money plant. The money plant is not in the pictures it grows fastest because it gets a ton of direct light. I am currently trying to propagate it so that I can put a cutting of it in my front window.
 
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