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Pros And Cons Of Installing A House Humidifier

There are arguments for or against the installation of an HVAC humidifier with a home. For some homeowners, this is definitely the right choice while others can get by without it. Here are the pros and cons of each option.

Pros

Keep a stable level of humidity – This may be the most obvious one, but it is also the most important. A humidifier will serve the function of maintaining all the natural moisture within a home. When humidity levels are low, it can impact wood furnishings, paint, wallpaper and more.

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Better energy efficiency – When there is moisture in the air, it holds onto heat at a higher level. This means you can drop your thermostat a few degrees and still achieve the same feel. It means less dollars every month in utility bills.

Higher level of comfort – A house that is inundated with dry air will impact hair and skin as both will become very dry. It can also cause nosebleeds and even static electricity. Lips may also start to chap as the consequences of a dry home show up in a physical manner.

Healthy living – When air is dry, it is more of a breeding ground for viruses, allergies and colds. This can lead to all types of illnesses and respiratory issues.

 

Cons

More maintenance – A house humidifier will require a new filter on a regular basis. That will mean that homeowners will have an added chore to do as neglecting this duty could lead to poor performance and possibly an eventual breakdown. It will also need to be cleaned out regularly and may even require an annual maintenance service by a professional.

More money – There is a cost that comes with installing a house humidifier. The purchase price is just one aspect as there will also be an installation charge. There is a cheaper alternative of going with a portable humidifier as it will save on what you have to spend.

Chance for error – It is important to set the right level of humidity. A failure to do so will have an adverse effect. For example, too high of a humidity level could lead to the growth of mildew and mold. Not knowing exactly what you are doing could be costly in a variety of ways.

When you are ready for a whole house humidifier, let the professionals at Air Necessities provide you with an affordable option as we continue to be the top HVAC service Columbia, SC has to offer.

Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

The cold weather is coming soon in Columbia, South Carolina and will be here to stay for quite some time. Since we are so used to blasting our AC units at full capacity in our climate, our customers might now know the proper maintenance tips and tricks to get your heater ready for the cooler weather. Don’t worry though, that’s where the team at Air Necessities comes in. Below, we will show you some simple things you can do on your own to make sure that you are prepared to stay warm and cozy the remaining fall and upcoming winter!

Replace Air Filters

When your air filters are dirty, they become “clogged”. Clogged air filters decrease the entire efficiency of your heating and cooling system. The air flow is hindered because it cannot push out air at a normal rate (because the blockage). Dust, pollen, debris, pet hair, etc. can all pile up on your filters. They need to be replaced every 1-3 months (depending on where you live, how many people are in your home, the number of pets you have, etc.).

Clean and Unblock All Vents

Take a walk around your home to make sure all of your return and supply air vents are clear of any obstructions. Make sure there are no pieces of furniture blocking the vents, no curtains in the way, no plants near it, etc. While you are checking to make sure that nothing is blocking your vents, take the time to clean them off of any dust that may have gathered near, on and around the vent area.

Adjust Your Thermostat

When you make the transition from cooling to heating, it’s a good idea to reprogram your thermostat and change the settings on it to accommodate the new weather. If your thermostat is currently blasting the AC unit during the middle of the day, adjust accordingly. You will be saving money and improving your comfort and efficiency from this simple step.

Consider Replacing Your HVAC System

Finally, consider replacing your HVAC system. There are many, many things that come into play when deciding whether or not to replace your system. The age, the cost of repairs, the frequency of your repairs, etc. If your HVAC system is on its last legs, how do you expect your heater to keep you warm when it’s freezing out? Make sure you have peace of mind that your system is working properly before heading into the winter time. Call your HVAC professional to schedule an inspection to see what actions need to be taken.

5 Common Heating & Air Conditioning Questions from Columbia, SC Homeowners

5 Common Heating & Air Conditioning Questions from Columbia, SC Homeowners

Question 1828268 1920You rely on your heating and air conditioning system to keep your Columbia, South Carolina home comfortable all year long. Most homeowners are concerned about how to maximize their comfort and HVAC efficiency while also keeping their energy bills at a minimum. Unfortunately, most homeowners aren’t experts in all things heating and cooling which is why people rely on heating and air conditioning contractors. That’s why the team at Air Necessities Heating and Cooling has answered 5 of the most common heating and air conditioning questions we receive from our customers here in the greater Columbia, SC area.

How Can I Save on Energy Costs?

There are many different things you can do to save money on your energy costs including the following:

  • If your HVAC system is 10+ years old, you will see significant energy savings when you upgrade to a new, high-efficiency system.
  • Installing a programmable or smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in your home to minimize energy usage can also cut back on your energy costs.
  • Use your ceiling fans to improve your home air circulation.
  • Seal up any air leaks in your home including windows, attic insulation, doors, etc.
  • Regularly change your air filters and schedule regular preventative maintenance.

Does a Bigger Heating or Cooling System Offer Better Performance?

Straight to the point, no. A bigger AC unit or furnace for your Columbia, SC home does not always equate to better performance. When it comes to the size of your HVAC system, you should be concerned about the right size. What size fits your square footage, layout, and lifestyle? A system that is too small will run continuously and a system that is too large will shut on and off frequently. Both of these scenarios end up wasting energy and money. That’s why it’s imperative to work with a HVAC professional when determining what kind of HVAC system you need in your Columbia, SC home.

How Often do my Air Filters Need to Be Replaced?

In order for you to keep your heating and cooling system running efficiently and your indoor air quality high, it’s important to regularly change out your air filters. The general rule of thumb is to change them out once every 30-90 days. Because every home is different, we recommend checking on your air filters once a month and then assessing whether or not they need to be changed out.

Is it Best to Repair or Replace my HVAC System?

When it comes to repairing or replacing your HVAC system, there are a lot of factors to consider. One major factor being how old your HVAC system is. If it is beyond 10 years and you’re looking at an expensive repair, it might be in your best interest to go ahead and replace it. If your system is under 10 years old and needs a less expensive repair, it’s most likely in your best interest to repair it.

How Long do HVAC Systems Last?

With proper care and regular preventative maintenance, the various components of your HVAC system (including your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, etc.) can last you and your Columbia, SC home around 10-15 years or more.

If you have any other heating and air conditioning questions you would like answered, please give the Air Necessities Heating and Cooling team a call today! We are always happy to help with HVAC questions and concerns.

5 Reasons to Install a Smart Thermostat

5 Reasons to Install a Smart Thermostat

Whether it’s our phones, TV’s, computers, video games, etc., technology is constantly evolving. Advanced technology is supposed to make our lives better, easier, and more convenient. And that’s exactly what installing a smart thermostat in your home does. It makes your life better, easier, and provides a more convenient way to control the heating and cooling of your home. Below are five of our top reasons for you to install a smart thermostat in your home.

Minimize Energy Bills

This might be the biggest reason of them all – to minimize your energy bills. With a smart thermostat, it’s easy to schedule your heating and air conditioning system to run less while you’re away from home during the day. You will use less energy by cooling/heating your home only when you’re in it. You can schedule your smart thermostat to kick in right before you arrive back home so you can feel instant comfort once you walk through your door. When your heating and cooling system is running less while you’re away, you’ll be lowering your energy bills and won’t even notice the difference. 

Track Your Energy Usage

Most smart thermostats have an energy tracking function to help consumers see their monthly, weekly and even daily energy usage. Also included in some of these energy usage tracking reports are tips on how to lower your energy usage. 

Control from Anywhere

When you have a smart thermostat, you must connect it to your home Wi-Fi. This enables you to use your smartphone to control your homes temperature no matter where you are in the world. So those mornings when you’re rushing out of your home to make it to work on time, don’t worry about changing your thermostat. You can manipulate your thermostat when you get to work. Or maybe you’re running late to catch a flight for vacation. Don’t sweat it, pull out your phone and bam – you are in ultimate control of your HVAC system.
 

Learning Ability

Majority of smart thermostats also have learning capabilities. What we mean by this is that this type of thermostat can actually learn your heating and air conditioning habits/schedule. They are able to “learn” when people are active in your home and when your heating/cooling system needs to be on. This will help you save a ton of time in the beginning when you are worried about programming your thermostat because you don’t have to, your thermostat will schedule itself!

Easy to Install

Last but certainly not least, a smart thermostat is easy to install. If you are interested in upgrading your HVAC system and installing a smart thermostat in your Columbia, South Carolina home, give Air Necessities a call! Our team will make the install process easy and we will show you how to properly use your brand new smart thermostat. Don’t miss out on the time and energy savings a brand new smart thermostat can save you, call us today!

Common Air Conditioner Myths to Stop Believing

Common Air Conditioner Myths to Stop Believing

Although air conditioning is not a new concept and has been around for decades, many people still struggle separating certain heating and air conditioning facts from fiction. Over time, some of these AC myths have come to be accepted as common knowledge among many homeowners. That’s why the Air Necessities team is here to set the record straight. Below we will discuss the truth behind some of the most prevalent air conditioning myths we encounter here in the greater Columbia, South Carolina area.

Setting Your Thermostat Lower Cools Your Home Faster

This is perhaps one of the longest lasting air conditioning myths here in the states (especially here in Columbia, SC) – that you can cool your home quicker by dropping your thermostat temperature super low. Unfortunately, this is not the case as your air conditioner can only work at one steady speed to cool down your home. You are better off leaving your thermostat at its desired temperature rather than cranking your thermostat down. You air conditioner, wallet, and home will thank you.

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The Bigger Your AC Unit, the Better

The size of your air conditioning unit absolutely matters. However, just because an AC unit is bigger than yours, does not mean it’s better for your home. It is more important to find an air conditioner that is suitably sized for your home. If your AC unit is too large, it will have to cycle on and off frequently which wastes energy and adds wear and tear to your unit. That is why it’s so important to work with a HVAC professional who knows how to properly size heating and air conditioning equipment to fit your greater Columbia, SC area home.

Close Air Vents in Rooms You Don’t Use

This is one of those AC myths that sounds like it could be true but it can actually cause more harm than good. Many people believe that closing the air vents off in rooms they don’t use will cool the rest of their home more efficiently and cut down their energy usage. In fact, closing off vents in rooms you don’t use in your Columbia, SC home will only cause an imbalance in your cooling system. This imbalance will only cool off your ductwork and force your air conditioner to work harder than usual to try and rebalance the homes cooling. Even if you never enter a certain room in your home, you should always leave the vents open.

Thermostat Placement Doesn’t Matter

Last but certainly not least, your thermostat placement does matter! This might be something you’ve never even considered, but the placement of your thermostat can significantly affect your home energy efficiency and your Columbia, SC home comfort. It should be on an interior wall, kept away from direct sunlight, doorways, skylights windows and frats. There should also be no furniture placed below of directly in front of your thermostat. If you’re in the greater Columbia, SC area and are looking for a HVAC contractor to help you with your heating and air conditioning needs, give Air Necessities a call today!

The Best Temperature Settings for Air and Heat

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There is often a question of what the exact temperature should be inside the home during the summer and winter months. While there are recommendations set forth by the department of energy, it is really a matter of personal preference. You pay for your heating and cooling so no one can really state where you should keep the temperature. However, there are some helpful hints to ensure energy efficiency.

Be Mindful of Temperature When House is Empty

In the summer months, there is no need to keep an ultra-low temperature when no one is in the house. In a similar manner, there is no need to keep the home nice and toasty during the winter months when the house is empty. Monthly utility bills can be greatly reduced when the temperature is lowered and it will also put less stress on the HVAC unit. It is a good idea to raise or lower the temperature by about eight degrees when the house is empty, depending upon the time of the year.

Program Your Thermostat

It is not easy to always remember to adjust your thermostat on a daily basis as you come and go. Adding a programmable thermostat is a way to ensure that the temperature will be adjusted accordingly when your home is empty. This can be programmed on a daily basis, which means you do not have to worry about making daily adjustments.

Smart Thermostat

Thermostats are now available on your smart device. This gives you the option of adjusting the temperature of your home from wherever you are. Should you be away from your home and there is a sudden change in temperature outside, you could adjust the inside temperature accordingly. There are a lot of things you can do with a smart thermostat as there is a wide array of features.

Other Helpful Methods

You do not have to rely solely on your air conditioner in the summer months as there are other ways to facilitate the cooling process. Ceiling fans can provide a way of increasing the cooling efficiency within the home. Also, making limited use of appliances will produce less heat meaning the AC unit does not have to work as hard. And redoing the weatherstripping surrounding your windows will also keep the home more energy efficient. In homes where humidity is an issue, a dehumidifier will take a lot of the strain off the HVAC unit.

When Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?

When Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?

We know that the last thing you want to do is to spend your hard earned money on brand new heating and air conditioning equipment, especially during a time like this. But unfortunately, your HVAC equipment is not invincible and there will come a day when it needs to be replaced. From the model of the AC unit to the contractor you choose to install it and purchase your unit from, there are a lot of different variable at play to consider. One of the biggest factors to consider when purchasing a new air conditioner is the timing of your purchase. It’s not always what kind of air conditioner you’re buying, it’s when you’re buying it. Below are a few of the top items to consider when deciding on when to replace your air conditioner.

 

If you’re located in the greater Columbia, South Carolina area and are looking to buy a new air conditioner, contact the professionals here at Air Necessities Heating and Cooling!

 

Your AC Unit Breaks Down Frequently

If you feel as if your air conditioner is constantly breaking down or that you are having to call your local Columbia SC HVAC contractor every month with a new air conditioning issue, it could be time to say goodbye. Frequent repairs are not only annoying, they can become costly. If your air conditioner required frequent repairs to continue working, it might be time to replace your AC unit.

AC Unit is More Than 10 Years Old

On average, a well maintained and properly cared for air conditioner should last around 10-15 years. This average is generally on the lower end here in Columbia, South Carolina due to the fact that your AC unit is on frequently and working hard to keep you cool in the southern heat most days. If you’re noticing some issues arise with your older AC unit and are considering repairing them, you should also look into replacing your unit as a whole. You could be saving yourself time and money in the long run.

 

You’re Facing Expensive AC Repairs

If your air conditioner is requiring an expensive repair in order for it to operate and function normally again, you’ve really got to think about the cost at stake. If your repair costs roughly half or more of the cost of a brand new AC unit, it might be best to replace. Make sure you are discussing all possible decisions with your trusted HVAC contractor before paying for a costly and expensive repair.

Significant Decrease in Home Comfort

Finally, if you are finding it hard to stay cool and comfortable during the Columbia, South Carolina heat and humidity, it could be because your air conditioning unit is slowly biting the dust. If your home is not reaching a comfort level that you want and need it to be at but your AC unit seems fine, you should consider a replacement.

If you have any questions about when to repair or replace your air conditioner, or if you’d like your cooling system serviced or installed in your Columbia, SC home – contact Air Necessities Heating and Cooling today.

How IAQ Affects You & Your Home

How IAQ Affects You & Your Home

Your IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) is not only an important factor in your overall health and well-being, it’s also an important factor in your Columbia, South Carolina’s home heating and cooling system. Did you know that the air inside of the average household can be up to 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside? The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has placed indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental hazards. Contaminants like mold, pollen, pet dander, dust, dirt, etc. are commonly found inside homes. On top of these harmful contaminants inside your home, you also have to think about your moisture levels.

Common Health Symptoms of Poor IAQ

One of the biggest reasons that the outdoor air is typically much cleaner than your indoor air is because outside air can ventilate. Homes these days have more insulation and are more tightly sealed than they once were. While this is ideal for comfort, it’s not ideal for your IAQ. The pollutants in your home get trapped inside and never have much of a chance to escape outside, leaving you breathing them in day in and day out. Some of the most common symptoms of poor IAQ include the following:

Headaches
Fatigue
Rashes
Dizziness
Difficulty Breathing
Eye, Nose & Throat Irritation
Congestion
Nausea
Vomiting
Respiratory & Cardiovascular Disease

Common HVAC Symptoms of Poor IAQ

When your home and air is full of pollutants, your HVAC system can easily become full of them too. When your air filters are not changed out regularly, they become clogged and the air in your HVAC system can no longer flow through your ductwork as efficiently and effectively as it once did. This increases your energy bills and adds unnecessary wear and tear on your heating and cooling equipment.

Some common HVAC symptoms of having poor indoor air quality include the following:

Higher Utility Bills
More Frequent Repairs
HVAC Problems & Issues
Restricted Airflow
Inconvenient Breakdowns
And More!

If you are looking for indoor air quality solutions to improve the IAQ in your Columbia, South Carolina home – give Air Necessities Heating & Cooling a call today! Our team is always ready to help our customers with whatever heating and air conditioning service they may need.

Picking Your Heating and Cooling Contractor

Picking Your Heating and Cooling Contractor

Finding the best professional for an HVAC job is important. Here are some recommendations that can help you hire the right company wherever you may be.

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Your heating and air conditioning system is likely one of the most important and expensive pieces of equipment you have in your home. That is why the process of choosing your heating and air conditioning contractor is such an importance one. With so many companies to choose from, especially here in Columbia, South Carolina, the decision can be a bit overwhelming and intimidating. Don’t worry, Air Necessities has put together our top four things to consider when deciding on your HVAC contractor.

 

References and Reviews

One of the best places to start looking for a HVAC contractor in your area is to start asking the people you trust. Your family, friends, and neighbors who live in the same greater area are great points of reference. Do they have a contractor that they highly recommend? Did they have a terrible experience with a contractor? Ask as many people as you can to begin to get a good idea of the contractors worth researching.

Online reviews are also a great place to start searching. Simply googling “heating and air conditioning contractors near me” will show you a bunch of potential companies to choose from. Be sure to read their reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. to get a good understanding of the kind of company they are and the type of work they produce.

Licensing and Certifications

Every state has different requirements but in South Carolina, you must have a HVAC license to perform work in the state. It is extremely important to ask your prospective contractors about their licensing or their certifications. You want to make sure that you are choosing a reputable company who has the legal permission to perform HVAC services for your home and/or office building.

Payment Options and Promotions

Your heating and cooling equipment is easily one of the most expensive appliances in your home. At Air Necessities, we understand that not everyone has the money upfront to pay for their HVAC system. That is why we offer flexible financing options. If this is something that is important to you, make sure find a contractor that offer financing plans as well. On top of financing, offering special promotions is a great bonus. Look for contractors who are willing to offer coupons and special pricing.

Home Evaluations

If you are looking for a brand new HVAC installation, it’s important to look for contractors who perform home evaluations before quoting you anything. In order to properly install heating and cooling equipment, your whole home needs to be inspected. Things like your ductwork, square footage, spacing, size of the windows, etc. all play a role in what kind of equipment your home needs. If a contractor ever offers you a quote without inspecting your home, run!

If you’re in the Columbia, South Carolina area and are in need of a HVAC contractor you can trust in, call Air Necessities Heating and Cooling today! Our team is always ready to help provide optimal comfort for our customers.

The Importance of an Indoor Quality Air Test

Maintaining proper indoor air quality is an integral part of keeping a healthy atmosphere inside a home. Most homes have some type of issue with the air quality and most people are completely unaware of that. Here is more on the importance of conducting an indoor air quality test and how the issues that are identified can be resolved.

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Diagnosing Problems

A professional indoor air quality test will diagnose the exact issues that are affecting your home. It should be noted that those issues are not identifiable without proper testing. There are air quality diagnostics that feature the most updated technology and this will help identify even the minutest issues with indoor air quality. The test will determine which unhealthy particles are in the air, many of which could be detrimental to those inside the home.

Providing Solutions

An indoor air quality test is done with the intent of resolving the issues that are discovered. The test is just the starting point as the next steps in the process will be remedying the situation. Here is a look at the most common solutions used to correct problems with indoor air quality.

• Filters – This is one of the most basic ways to improve indoor air quality as filters should be changed out regularly. There are different varieties of air filters and choosing the right one for your home can maintain good indoor air quality.

• Purifiers – Filters are not going to catch every particle as some are so small that they could squeeze through. An air purifier can get rid of these smaller particles and come in different makes and models, using various methods as seen in an ionizer or ultraviolet lights.

• Humidifiers – This option is typically used more during the winter months as it takes the dryness out of the air by adding moisture. This can lead to a much healthier environment.

• Dehumidifiers – An indoor air quality test can identify any issues with humidity. This could make for an uncomfortable environment and a humidifier could extract that moisture from the air, thus reducing the humidity.

Sometimes, it takes a combination of solutions to fix the quality of the air inside of a home. An indoor air quality test can also go a long way towards extending the life of your HVAC system. For an indoor air quality test in Columbia, SC, contact the experienced team of professionals at Air Necessities.

Why is there a Burning Smell When the Heat Turns On?

It is not uncommon for a burning smell to arise when a central heater unit turns on. It is not always a cause for concern, although there is ample enough reason to look into what’s going on. Here is a look at what a burning smell indicates when a heater is activated.

The cause of the burning smell

When a heater remains stagnant, it is common for a buildup of dust to accumulate. That dust will burn up and while it will not bring any harm, it does give off an odor. This is normal and not a cause for concern. The odor will generally go away within about an hour. If it does persist, then there may be another issue. But don’t be alarmed at the first sign of that smell.

Avoiding the smell

Some homeowners prefer to avoid that burning smell altogether and that can be accomplished. Annual maintenance on a heating system or furnace will complete the process of cleaning the inside of the heater. This can reduce the dust that typically burns up when a heater is activated. There may be a slight smell, but it will be significantly less. It also helps to have a new air filter installed as this is another way of mitigating a burning smell. A filter that is dirty could allow the smell to linger.

When it’s time to worry

There are instances when a burning smell is not a normal sign. If the burning smell persists, then something is amiss. There are several reasons why this occurs. The insulation on the furnace wiring could be melting and this happens when there is an electrical problem. The best solution is simply turning off the heater and calling a professional HVAC repair service.

Other smells that could be problematic

An electrical issue will emit a smell that is similar to burning plastic. This is definitely a cause for concern. If there is a musty smell that is reminiscent of mold, then it could mean that your unit has accumulated too much bacteria. This could be caused by a dirty air filter or a fungus growth on the evaporator coils. And if there is the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs, it means something is amiss with one of your gas appliances. If this happens, leave the home immediately and contact the gas company.

If you experience any of these issues, contact the team of professionals at Air Necessities for the best HVAC service Columbia, SC has to offer.

The Best Air Filters and How Often To Change Them

All air filters are not the same for your AC unit as there are differences every homeowner should know. It is also important to change the air filter regularly as it will improve air flow and quality throughout the home. Here is a look at some helpful hints on air filters and how often they should be changed out.

Air filter varieties

It is important to know the different types of air filters used in HVAC units. The most commonly used filter is the fiberglass variety. It has an appearance very similar to finely woven fabric. There is also a pleated filter available for use and these are woven a little tighter than fiberglass.
Electrostatic filters are considered the best option and elicit a static charge when in use. The charge actually works to trap various types of contaminants.

Changing air filters

It is critical to change out the filters in a timely manner. A fiberglass filter should be changed every one or two months depending on the frequency of use. Pleated filters last a little longer and can go for about six months before changing. There are factors that influence when a filter should be changed and they include usage, location and manufacturer’s instructions.

Benefits of changing filters

There is a long list of benefits that come with regular changing of air filters. It is something that all homeowners can do on their own and helps out in a number of ways. Here is a look at the benefits of changing out an air filter in your HVAC unit on a regular basis.

• Extends life of AC unit – Using a dirty air filter could introduce various types of damage to the unit. This is a form of preventative maintenance that can be done with relative ease. There are other methods of preventative maintenance done by professionals, although this is a simple fix that could pay dividends.

• Enhances air quality – A filter that is clean will ensure that the air that is moved throughout the home will be clean and fresh. This will provide a healthier environment, especially for those who have allergies or any type of respiratory condition.

• Lowers costs – The cost of operating an HVAC system will be reduced because less energy will be used. This could lead to overall energy savings of 10 to 15% on regular cooling bills.

Air Necessities has the right solution for your HVAC issues as we can provide service, replacement and HVAC installation in Columbia, SC.

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