I have read some individual posts recently that mentioned sealing the house tighter for various reasons. So, I thought I would start a new topic about this and share some of my thoughts. Personally, I think a building, of any kind, where people congregate, can be sealed too tight. In fact, there is a condition called Sick Building Syndrome that is the direct result of insufficient fresh air. This lack of fresh air impacts the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Without fresh air, the building will accumulate various harmful "things" floating around in the air that the people are breathing. Some of these harmful "things" are aerosols, noncombustibles from an open flame, animals exhaling CO2, fumes from cleaning products, mold, etc., etc., etc. Without the ability to purge the air in the building, and introduce fresh air, these "things" just continue to build-up. People can become quite sick from inhaling those harmful "things"...hence the term Sick Building Syndrome. Since we are all heating our homes with wood, lets bring this discussion down to just homes. I do believe there should be a reasonable effort to insulate and seal a home for energy conservation reasons and comfort purposes. But, I believe this can be taken too far. If the home is sealed too tight, there becomes a need for an outside air kit (OAK) on the wood stove...this OAK is not a bad thing, there are some benefits to having this installed, regardless of the tightness of the home...so please don't think I'm opposed to OAK, I'm not. But, if your home is sealed so tight that the stove won't operate properly without the OAK, it may just be sealed too tight. If a home is sealed too tight, there must be a means of introducing fresh air into the home for healthy IAQ purposes. This must be done mechanically...either by ducting outside air through an air handler and blowing it throughout the home...or by utilizing an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) which exhausts air from inside the home to outside, while bringing outside air in to replace that which was exhausted (there is more to these machines, but not pertinent to this discussion). I guess the question is: Which is best...natural leakage in the home or mechanically controlled fresh air? Each has its own set problems: Natural leakage is uncontrollable and unpredictable...wind can make it worse. Mechanical control can be costly to install, set-up, maintain and continuously operate...there will be a need for professional testing to ensure there is adequate fresh air while ensuring it is not excessive. I know, everyone has enough to worry about...I should be disciplined for adding to it.