I recommend nonpolluting AFM Safecoat. I buy it untinted. You can take the base to a paint store of your choice and mix in a tint for the desired color.

Should we all be adding HEPA filters to the rooms we spend the most time in? Which do you like?

Yes, they help a lot all over the house. There are lots of great options. Right now, I’m using the Rabbit Air BioGS with a toxin filter at home.

Above: Emissions from gas stoves can lead to health problems, including an increased risk for childhood asthma. An electric range with an induction cooktop is a better alternative.  Photograph of the Zenblack oven from Amica Zen.
a thermador freedom induction cooktop in a brooklyn brownstone kitchen des 21
Above: A Thermador Freedom Induction Cooktop in a Brooklyn Brownstone Kitchen Designed by Shapeless Studio. Photograph by Hagan Hinshaw.

How do you feel about gas stoves these days?

Well, I can tell you that my air-quality meter (I use a Temtop) doesn’t love them. I usually open up the adjacent doors/windows when using one—you need more than an extractor fan and should also have it running whenever the stove is on.

When upgrading HVAC systems, what do you generally recommend?

Radiant heat, also known as underfloor heating. There is radiant cooling too, but I am not an expert on that.

an airy bedroom with linen sheets on an all latex mattress with a wool mattress 22
Above: An airy bedroom with linen sheets on an all latex mattress with a wool mattress topper.

What are your go-to brands for mattresses, upholstered furniture, and rugs that are truly green and free of offenders, such as flame repellents and glues?

I like vintage rugs in general, and for new designs, Beni for Moroccan and Merida for custom. I like Cisco Home for upholstered furniture and recommend a 100-percent latex mattress with a 100-percent wool topper: I like Holy Lamb Organics and Coyuchi toppers.

How often do you recommend changing forced air filters and cleaning ducts in heating and cooling systems?

It’s good to stay on top of these things—they’re places where mold and allergens get trapped. But I defer to the manufacturer on this.

A lot of insulation is made of materials that off-gas. What do you recommend as the best alternatives?

Recycled denim and cotton are great.  So is wool insulation.

a jute design lake tahoe project with clean air thanks to cross ventilation, so 23
Above: A Jute Design Lake Tahoe project with clean air thanks to cross-ventilation, solid plank floors with radiant heat, and zero VOC paint on the wood-paneled walls.

What’s the most impactful thing a person can do to improve the air quality at home?

Be mindful of all future purchases. Only bring nontoxic items into your home.

For those of us who find assessing the air quality in our houses a daunting task, is there an affordable service we can turn to?

The least expensive and easiest option is to buy a VOC/formaldehyde meter.  It’s not daunting. Once you start using it, you really learn what things are safe and what to steer clear of. Once the biggest offenders are gone, the good new is it’s much easier to keep your air clean going forward.

live natural is out this june from gibbs smith. 24
Above: Live Natural is out this June from Gibbs Smith.

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