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Revenues heat up with temperatures for some businesses

Hudspolar bear cools down by playing with block ice during swim his enclosure Brookfield Zoo. A hewave continues grip much

Hudson, a polar bear, cools down by playing with a block of ice during a swim in his enclosure at Brookfield Zoo. A heat wave continues to grip much of the country today with temperatures expected to top 90 degrees in forty-seven states. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Updated: July 18, 2013 3:32PM

As a heat advisory leaves most Chicagoans seeing squiggly waves of heat dancing off the streets, Todd Zarlengo sees dollar signs.

“The sun is what matters most,” said Zarlengo, who is the operations manager at Zarlengo’s Italian Ice in Chicago Heights. “It’s the sun that brings everyone out.”

With heat indexes expected to hover near 100 degrees and a heat advisory in effect until 7 p.m. Friday, some businesses are reaping the benefits of the summer blast.

The prolonged period of high temperatures works out well for Four Season sales director Jeff Vida, who said the Chicago-based heating and air conditioning business has seen an 11 percent increase in service calls for air conditioner repair in northeast Illinois.

He said the company has responded to approximately 2,000 service calls a week this summer, even more than during last summer’s heat wave. “It’s a great mix of high temperatures and humidity,” said Vida, who said the business created a committee to prepare for the increase in service calls after last year’s heat wave. “You can’t live without air conditioning.”

Andrea Lange, office manager and co-owner of the Irving Park-based Guardian Heating & Cooling Services, said she has seen an approximate 10 percent increase in the installation and repair business.

“It started kind of slowly on Tuesday, and then all of the sudden it hit us,” she said. “[Wednesday], we’ll probably get even more calls.”

Both Vida and Lange said one of their primary concerns is getting to service locations as quickly as possible.

“If something’s wrong with the air conditioning,” said Lange, “you don’t want elderly people or babies just hanging out in 100-degree heat.”

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