New Zealand fireplace designer and manufacturer Rinnai has reported a 20 per cent increase in exports to Australia in the past year and 113 per cent growth in states such as Victoria.

Rinnai's sales and marketing general manager, Mark McCutcheon, said the increase in sales of its gas fireplaces was due to better products and relationships with retailers.

"Overseas, gas fireplaces are a major form of heating. It's a much bigger market."

McCutcheon said part of the challenge was getting out the message that modern flued-gas appliances offered healthy heat. "They transfer energy into heat in a very efficient manner."


He said most Rinnai gas fireplaces met NZ's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority criteria for the healthy homes subsidy.