As temperatures rise, so do AC bills. If you’re looking for simple ways to minimize your cooling bill while keeping your home comfortable in the heat, give these easy-to-care-for house plants a try. Plants come with a host of benefits, including the ability to purify the air, and the ability to help keep your home cooler during warm months. We’re not making this up—just ask NASA.
Even if you’ve got a brown thumb, taking care of houseplants that cool your house down is easier than you might think. With a few tips and tricks, you’ll be a houseplant hoarder (with a lower AC bill) in no time.
Indoor Plant Basics
You only need to know a few houseplant fundamentals to keep your greens growing. For starters, use good soil. Stop by a local greenhouse, gardening center, or even a big box chain store with a gardening section, and ask which soil works best with the plants you want.
Many people kill their plants by over-watering, so we recommend new plant parents start with cacti or succulent soil for all indoor plants. This kind of earth provides both good drainage and nutrients.
Each plant needs to be watered at a different rate, so make a list, note watering days in your planner, or set an alarm on your phone so you don’t over or under water.
Lastly, when you purchase a plant, you will see specific instructions on the tag telling you what type of light the plant needs, how often to water the plant, and how often to fertilize the plant. Saving this tag and following the suggestions is the best way to ensure that your plants will live long and prosper.
Aloe Vera is a common houseplant in the succulent family that's widely known for its medicinal uses. It comes in many different varieties, all of which have been scientifically proven to help cool interior spaces. Aloe plants thrive in bright light, and require a deep watering every three weeks or so.
Baby Rubber Plant
Native to Florida and the Caribbean, this beautiful plant not only keeps things cool, it's non-toxic, making it safe to grow around cats, dogs, and kids. Baby rubber plants thrive in bright light and humidity, so be sure to mist the leaves in the winter months if you live in a dry environment.
Water these plants when the top inch of the soil is dry, and for fastest growth, set them up to receive a few hours of direct sunlight each day.
Also called money plant, devil's ivy (and several other colorful names), pothos plants are fast-growing and easy to propagate, so if you like the one you have, you can easily grow more on your own. Pothos are also simple to care for—they enjoy bright light and mild indoor temperatures.
When your plant looks a little droopy, you know it’s time to water again. From time to time, a section of this vine may yellow or die. To save the rest of the plant, make sure to remove that piece immediately.
Once an endangered species, this popular houseplant has made a comeback in the last few years. If you are looking for larger plants to cool off your house, this easy-to-maintain palm might be a good fit for you.
Place near a south or north facing window, and keep its surroundings at a comfortable room temperature. Areca palms don’t do well with extreme cold. Like many plants, it’s best to use a pot with drainage for this palm to avoid water logging.
A ficus tree, sometimes called a weeping fig, is an elegant statement plant that also keeps the house cool. It prefers indirect or filtered light, so keep it away from the sunniest windows, and make sure to mist the leaves if you don’t live in a humid climate. Water when the top inch of soil is dry, and fertilize regularly.
Snake plants are notoriously easy to care for, and come in a wide variety of looks. Scientifically proven to cool the air, snake plants only need to be watered about every three weeks, and, unlike many greens, they do well in lower light. Especially if you’re looking to cool down a back bedroom or bathroom, slither on over to your local greenhouse and find a snake plant.