Raccoon damaging the heater

For a few years now, our neighbors who are also our friends, have complained to me that they have extreme rodent complications. They told me it seems like no matter what they do, a racoon will find their way around their beach house or in their trash, dragging garbage all around their grass as well as throughout their driveway. Although the rodents were always around their home, I never had any encounters with them until one alarming night about a month ago. I remember that I was coming back from work late at night and couldn’t wait to sleep.  As I was getting out of the car, I could hear loud noises as well as moving from our neighbors shrubs. When I got closer after walking on the path to our door and passed their Heating, Ventilation and A/C equipment outside, out of nowhere, a raccoon ran out! It hopped away quickly thank goodness, but I was I found that it had cracked and ruined their outside heating equipment. I told them about it the next afternoon and in no time they had a Heating, Ventilation and A/C specialist over to inspect the unit. Of course it was updated considering the big chunks that were missing from the Heating, Ventilation and A/C equipment. Luckily for them, the Heating, Ventilation and A/C expert put on  a guard that would help protect their HVAC equipment from rodents, however I’m pretty sure this won’t protect their trash bags.