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You can also (apart from DA01's answer): Drill a hole to see if a red 'powder' is what's inside. Knock on it. Listen to how it resonates. It may require some masonery 'insight', but i bet it can help and You could distinguish if there's a open place (like between metal sheets) inside. Combine few of these approaches to get an answer.


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Ecnerwal is right that the if the footing is uninsulated, some of the heat will escape into the dirt under the house, where it will sort of be stored due to (I hope) your insulated slab perimeter walls keeping the heat in. However, unless that space is fully insulated on all sides (e.g. under the dirt on the same plane as the footer), there will be heat ...


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If this will be used as a serious heating appliance, (I'm inferring from "masonry heater") not merely decoration (as many fireplaces are), I'd go with uninsulated footing, especially if the stemwall is insulated - whatever thermal bridging takes place will be to the "bubble" of dirt inside the stemwall, which can play into your thermal mass. ...


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Yes, you can cut a hole in the plaster and see if there is brick behind it. Perhaps an easier way is if this is on an outside wall and the brick no the outside goes all the way up. If so, odds are that it goes all the way up on the inside, as this would likely have been a full masonry chimney when it was built (as opposed to modern fireplace inserts which ...


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When in use, the chimney itself will be at a higher temperature than ambient. Just how high will depend on several factors: materials used, thickness, fire heat output, etc. You can get an idea of just how hot just by touching the visible part of the chimney with your hand, and a more precise reading from an IR gun. This is actually a desirable feature, ...



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