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Energy efficient homes need to have good heat recovery ventilators that circulate air in and out, a North Bay builder says. (istockphoto.com)

Some local builders are worried about new building code requirements that came into effect on Jan. 1.

Now, anyone applying for a building permit for a new structure in Ontario must comply with stricter energy efficiency measures.

And while energy efficiency is a good thing, builders need to be keenly aware of indoor air quality.

That's according to Robert Miller, a house builder and president of the North Bay and District Homebuilders' Association.

He said today’s energy efficient homes need to have good heat recovery ventilators that circulate air in and out.

"If these units are not operating properly, or to the capacity of what they say they are, then the house is not actually having the fresh air returned," he said. "You get bad air in the home."

Illness can spread

Miller said he worries these units can't keep pace with the government's stricter requirements, and that illnesses can spring up in homes that are too airtight.

Not to mention that costs will get passed on to the consumers — provincial officials says there will be an initial added cost for consumers.

But Municipal Affairs and Housing spokesperson Richard Stromberg said, in the long run, consumers will save more on their energy bills.

"Yes, it will be a little more expensive to build, but we're anticipating that the energy savings — [and with] fuel costs going up — people will realize energy savings over time."