My home was built in '82. It has a floor-to-ceiling stone facade on the fireplace. The firebox protrudes from the house, making the fireplace flush with the walls inside. In the winter the stone facade radiates frigid air. I hesitate to even put a towel over it because of a bad experience doing this with moisture build-up and mold in a house that I used to rent that had the same problem.
Would a fireplace of this type generally have been insulated in some way behind the facade? I've been tempted to rip the siding off the chimney chase outside to see what's underneath, but that's a pretty destructive investigation. If there were no insulation, isn't there a fire-resistant batting that can be placed in this area? I've seen one on Holmes on Homes that was green in color but wouldn't burn when a flame was held to it.
Any ideas? Thanks for your suggestions!