I wasn’t sure if it was the fireplace or the house.

This year, due to the high cost of heating fuel, dad was using the fireplace to help heat the house. I noticed there was an odd smell in the house. It wasn’t really the smell of smoke, but of burning sugar. I told mom about it and she said it was an old house, and there were many odd odors in it. I thought mom had once again burnt something while cooking, but I was wrong. There were no burnt food remnants in the house. Dad continued to use the fireplace to heat the house, but he kept looking for the odd odor. When I came into the house last week, I told them it smelled like something had died in the house. He looked for signs of dead mice, or other critters, but there was nothing. He finally called the HVAC company and told them about the fireplace and the smell of something dead. The HVAC technician told dad it could be some stink bugs had gotten into the ductwork, and they had died when the furnace was running. That would cause a horrible stench in the house. My dad told him we hadn’t used the furnace because we couldn’t afford to use it. He said he didn’t know. Before dad hung up, the HVAC technician asked how he was heating the house. The HVAC technician asked if dad had the chimney cleaned before we started the fireplace. He said he hadn’t, but it had just been cleaned this summer. When the HVAC technician said we could have had a bee’s nest in the chimney, it all made sense. First the smell of burnt sugar, and then, like something had died; added up to there being honey bees in the chimney.


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