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From June through September, an Arizonan's best friend isn't their old roommate from college, their neighbor of 23 years, the guy that pushed them clear of that speeding train in '96, their spouse or even their only child. No, it's air conditioning.

Which is why heating and cooling specialists remind you not to neglect your best friend.

• Set your thermostat at a modest level, 78 degrees being an ideal temperature.

• Adjust your thermostat a few degrees higher when you know you won't be home.

• Keep your system clean. Replace filters regularly.

• Don't forget the system's birthday.

• Be a good listener.

These tips sound familiar, right?

Well, here's one more A/C tip for Arizonans.

If you own a business, make sure you have it and it works!

Perhaps it's just me and the places I've been going. So I ask: Has anyone else noticed how many Arizona businesses have been miserably warm this summer? I mean, to the point that you want to ignore the oppressive climate, but you can't because your friend's on a gurney and your date has salt crusted to her forehead.

Look, I sympathize with how difficult it must be to run a successful business. And I realize what a big, annoying expense it must be to cool a large building, much less replace a faulty system but I have to believe it's worth it. Keeping the patrons from passing out due to heat exhaustion simply must fall beneath the umbrella of "customer satisfaction."

"How was the soup, sir?"

"Much better once I climbed inside the bowl to cool off."

I forgave my grandmother for setting the thermostat at 90 degrees. She was old, always cold and she lived through the Depression. She couldn't stand the idea of "wasting" so much money on the electric bill when a slice of shade or a homemade paper fan cooled her off just fine.

I'd eat her fried chicken and mashed potatoes with sweat leaking down my smiling face without a word. But Restaurant X didn't give birth to my mother. Restaurant X never took me to the dime store to buy me ball cards in the cellophane wrappers. Restaurant X never blew cool breath on my skinned knee before she bandaged it. And Restaurant X didn't give my grandfather 50-plus good years of marriage.

So guess what Restaurant X? You're only being judged on the experience you provide.

Lower your freaking thermostat, or I'm not only leaving, I'm going to tell everyone I know to avoid the boiler room serving chicken wings that is Restaurant X.

Chuck Powell, KTAR.com & ArizonaSports.com contributor

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