temperature

What temperature should I set my thermostat to in the winter to save money?

Find out the best temperature to heat your home and more ways your thermostat can help save you money this winter.

Constantly battling with your significant other over what temperature to heat your home? Good news, we’ve found an ideal temperature that keeps things cozy and saves energy too.

 

SET YOUR THERMOSTAT TO 68 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT IN THE WINTER

According to ENERGY STAR, setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) when you’re home is the ideal balance of comfort and energy efficiency. So why is 68 degrees the magic number? The energy-saving key is lowering the temperature (about 10-12 degrees Fahrenheit or 6-8 degrees Celsius) at night or when you’re away.

DON’T TURN THAT DIAL!

You can save as much as 10% a year in heating and cooling costs by turning back thermostats 7 – 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours a day. Constantly raising or lowering the temperature throughout the day or forgetting to set it to the proper temperature can actually cost you more over time.

WHERE YOU PLACE YOUR THERMOSTAT MATTERS

Knowing the ideal home temperature and using your thermostat correctly won’t matter if you place it in the wrong part of your home. An interior wall, ideally near the center of the house is the best place for your thermostat. Also, keep in mind which rooms people use most since these are the rooms where you want the temperature to be the most comfortable.

5 AREAS TO AVOID WHEN PLACING YOUR THERMOSTAT

  • Areas in direct sunlight
  • Locations above air vents
  • Kitchens
  • Hallways
  • Near doors or windows

UPGRADE YOUR THERMOSTAT TO SAVE

Today’s more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can deliver whole-home comfort while using less energy. But to get the most out of them, it’s best to pair them with an updated thermostat. While you can manually set your thermostat daily, programmable or “smart” thermostats can help you achieve energy savings, especially when you’re away from home.

PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTATS

Programmable thermostats allow you to set a variety of temperature preferences during the day for each day of the week. As great as programmable thermostats are – they only work if you use them properly. If you constantly adjust the temperature (or your significant other does) you’ll end up spending more, not less, on your energy bill.

SMART THERMOSTATS

Why not take the human element out of it and upgrade to a connected, smart home thermostat. These next-gen thermostats do more than just keep your home warm and cozy all winter (which they do very well), they learn your patterns and automatically adjust the temperature for max efficiency and energy savings. You can program them remotely, get real-time performance alerts and even hide the digital display with a screen saver of your choice.

INVEST IN AN ENERGY EFFICIENT FURNACE OR HEAT PUMP

Even when you’re setting your thermostat lower at night and while you’re away, you may not see your electric bill go down if your system isn’t running efficiently. Start small by reaching out to us and we will make sure it’s operating at its best. Small things like leaky air ducts, poor insulation or old filters can affect efficiency. If an HVAC upgrade is a right move for you, here’s what you need to know. A newer Energy Star certified system that has a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) rating will be 15% more efficient than older, less energy-conscious models. Newer systems can also improve your comfort since they typically feature multiple or variable heating stages. This type of heating system will keep your home consistently warm and reduce temperature swings. It also runs longer without the starts and stops that use excess energy – which can help lower your energy bill.

One Last Tip!

Want to know more about how to heat your home comfortably and save money doing it? Contact Gastech Solutions inc for a custom home heating and cooling system evaluation.

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Common Myths About Furnaces That Aren’t True

We’re putting some heat on these winter furnace myths.

Cooler weather doesn’t have to mean higher heating bills. Don’t fuel the fire of bad information— save your furnace and your wallet by separating fact from fiction.

furnace myths - FALSE-CLOSE YOUR VENTS TO CLOSE OFF HEAT

1. FALSE: CLOSE YOUR VENTS TO CLOSE OFF HEAT

FACT: It almost feels like common sense to close the vents to rooms you don’t need to be heated, but your furnace distributes heat equally throughout your home no matter what. Closing the vents to unused rooms only makes your furnace work harder and less efficiently— keep them open to keep air flowing freely.

 

furnace myths - FALSE- IT’S NORMAL TO HAVE COLD FEET

2. FALSE: IT’S NORMAL TO HAVE COLD FEET

FACT: Having cold floors in the winter means your home isn’t well-insulated, allowing the hot air you pay to get out. Check the sealing around doors and windows, or hire a professional to properly seal your home so you can walk around comfortably.

furnace myths - FALSE- All you need is efficiency

3. FALSE: ALL YOU NEED IS EFFICIENCY

FACT: Having an efficient system is important if you’re trying to lower your bills, but it doesn’t mean anything if your home isn’t optimized for heating. Aside from checking your insulation around doors and windows, we can carefully inspect your system whether it be your furnace, air conditioner, or fireplace to make sure it’s operating safely and efficiently. Our licensed technicians will ensure your gas furnace’s venting and heat exchanger are operating safely to prevent any hazardous gas leaks in your home.

Become a Preferred Customer, Call Us to Schedule Your Maintenance 519-633-5106.

furnace myths - FALSE- RUN YOUR SYSTEM INTO THE GROUND2

4. FALSE: RUN YOUR SYSTEM INTO THE GROUND

FACT: If your old furnace is breaking down, you might be tempted to just replace the bad parts until it finally quits. Replacing a furnace may seem expensive upfront, but creating a frankenfurnace only causes your old system to work less efficiently and drive up your power bills.  Gastech can provide a new Gas furnace that runs on less energy and fits your family’s budget.

furnace myths - FALSE- MAINTENANCE ISN’T MANDATORY

5. FALSE: MAINTENANCE ISN’T MANDATORY

FACT: Don’t let small problems turn into large bills. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep your furnace in top shape. Gastech Solutions can help fix any issues you might have with your furnace, and you can schedule seasonal maintenance to keep your system running at its peak year-round.

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SAVE this winter with lower heating bills

7 Ways To Lower Your Heating Bill Right Now

Keep your house cozy without breaking the bank this fall and winter.

Want to lower your energy costs? Of course, who doesn’t? We’ve pulled together a list of easy energy-saving ideas from simple tips where you’ll see a difference right away to energy-efficient home upgrades that pay off year over year.

According to Energy Star, in the average household, almost half of the annual energy bill goes to heating and cooling – more than $900 a year. Following these money-saving tips can really add up and have a big impact on your family budget.

 

7 ways to lower your heating bill right now

  1. Open your curtains and blinds
  2. Check your insulation
  3. Seal your doors and windows
  4. Set your thermostat correctly for winter
  5. Create climate zones
  6. Run your ceiling fan clockwise in winter (really!)
  7. Upgrade to a high-efficient HVAC system

Take a closer look at our list and learn how you can put these ideas into practice in your home today.

  1.     OPEN YOUR CURTAINS AND BLINDS

Even on the coldest days, direct sunlight will generate heat when it hits a window. So, on sunny days, let the sunshine in. Best of all – it’s free!

Pro tip: open the blinds or curtains to let direct sunlight in and close them up once the sun moves away. Your blinds and curtains act as a secondary insulator and help keep cold air from seeping in.

  1.     CHECK YOUR INSULATION

If your attic or crawlspace isn’t properly insulated, your heating system has to work harder to keep your home at a consistently comfortable temperature. The more it works, the more it costs you. Foam insulation can settle after a year. Homes built in the ’70s or earlier should be checked out as insulation quality has come a long way since then. If you live up north where it gets really cold, try adding extra insulation to your garage door, it can make a big difference.

  1.     SEAL YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS

You don’t need to be Mr. or Mrs. DIY to check the seals of your doors and windows and replace cracked or worn weather strips. Be sure to seal all cracks, holes, and gaps around windows to prevent air leaks.

  1.     SET YOUR THERMOSTAT CORRECTLY FOR WINTER

Ok, so there really isn’t one perfect temperature to keep your home at during the winter. To get max efficiency out of your heating system all you have to do is use the built-in energy-saving functionality most of today’s thermostats have.

  • Programmable thermostats. Programmable thermostats allow you to set a variety of temperature preferences during the day for each day of the week. A good guideline for winter is to set it to about 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) when you’re home and lower it (about 10-12 degrees Fahrenheit or 6-8 degrees Celsius) at night or when you’re away. As great as programmable thermostats are – they only work if you use them properly. If you constantly adjust the temperature – you’ll end up spending more, not less, on your energy bill.
  • Smart thermostats. If you haven’t already, consider upgrading to a connected, smart home thermostat. Truth is, even though they can, most people don’t use their programmable thermostat properly. Smart thermostats take the human element out of it. These next-gen thermostats do more than just keep your home warm and cozy all winter (which they do very well), they learn your patterns and automatically adjust the temperature for max efficiency and energy savings. You can program them remotely, get real-time performance alerts and even hide that digital display with a screensaver of your choice. When connected, you can control lights, locks, and several other smart home appliances. Ask us to recommend the best thermostat for your home.
  1.     CREATE CLIMATE ZONES

The idea here is simple: direct more warm air to the rooms you use most. The DIY way to do this is to close the vents in the rooms you don’t use often. This forces your heating system to direct more warm air to where you want it. Take this concept to the next level by having an HVAC professional install a climate zone system, like the Trane ComfortLink™ II Zoning System. Trane uses exclusive motorized modulating dampers inside your ductwork to open and close in partial increments. That means heated or cooled air is directed where it’s needed, providing maximum comfort where you want it most.

  1.     RUN YOUR CEILING FAN CLOCKWISE IN WINTER (REALLY!)

Fans aren’t just for keeping you cool in the summer. Ceiling fans do a great job of circulating warm air that rises to the top of the room and distributing it throughout the house.

  1.     UPGRADE TO A HIGH-EFFICIENT HVAC SYSTEM

If your home heating and cooling system is over ten years old, it’s not going to have the energy-efficient SEER rating that is now standard. The majority of systems installed prior to 2006 are 10 SEER or lower.You can save up to 62% in energy costs with a more efficient system. Talk to us about upgrading to an ultra-efficient HVAC system today!

 

One final thought

Your home heating and cooling system is a large portion of your home energy budget. If you want to really understand your home energy use – and get custom energy-saving solutions, talk to us and schedule an in-home energy evaluation.

 

 

Image Source: GETTY IMAGE BY MRPLISKIN

 

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great recipe for football sunday

GREAT RECIPE FOR FOOTBALL SUNDAY!

Smoked Gouda-Chorizo Jalapeno Poppers

Ingredients
2 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed

1/2 pound smoked gouda, shredded

1/4 cup finely chopped red onions

1 egg

1/2 cup cream cheese

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 tablespoon hot sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 large jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and halved

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Brown chorizo in a skillet over medium-high heat, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place into a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese, red onion, egg, cream cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and salt and pepper, to taste. Press into jalapeno halves and assemble on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

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myFM Spirit Awards Nominations

myFM Spirit Awards Nominations

SOURCE: St. Thomas, ON, Canada / 94.1 St.ThomasToday.ca
Gastech Solutions Inc. is proudly sponsoring the 2019 myFM Spirit Awards!

Nominations are officially open for our 2019 myFM Spirit Awards. This year’s free event celebrating the best people, places and things in St. Thomas and Elgin County is being held at the St. Thomas Seniors Centre on October 25th from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Thanks to your suggestions, we have officially picked our 50 categories for this year’s awards.

General Manager at myFM Samantha Wakefield says we did something new this year by allowing the public to choose not only the nominees, but the 50 categories.

You will be able to nominate your favourites in categories such as Best New Business, Most Influential Citizen, Best Restaurant, Top Teacher, and even Best Place To Buy Gas.

Nominations will be open until September 22nd, with voting beginning on September 30th.

For a complete list of categories or to nominate someone deserving of an award, head over to our website at stthomastoday.ca

Date: Friday October 25th 2019

Location: St.Thomas Seniors Centre

 225 Chestnut Street, St.Thomas

Time: 7pm-10pm

Nominations begin: Monday Sept 9th – Sunday Sept 22nd

Voting begins: Monday Sept 30 – Sunday Oct 13th

CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE YOUR FAVOURITES!
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Furnace Repair in St Thomas Ontario Gastech solutions inc

Your Guide for Back-to-School HVAC Maintenance

Now is the time to think about your back-to-school HVAC maintenance that will keep everything running smoothly, help lower monthly energy bills and give YOU Peace of Mind.

Here are a few quick tips to follow:

Schedule a System Tune-Up

The best way to keep your HVAC system running properly and efficiently all year round is to become a Preferred Customer and sign up for Gastech Solutions Precision Care Maintenance Plan. Our HVAC equipment is designed for optimal efficiency and comfort. Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure peak performance. These service check-ins can reveal leaks, rust or wear and tear, each season. A visit in the spring and fall will also improve its efficiency and prolong the equipment’s operational lifespan.

Clean or Change Your Air Filter

Your system’s air filter is constantly stopping pollutants and other particulates from re-entering your home’s air as the equipment is running. Maintaining your air filter is easy and routine maintenance will keep you breathing easier. Most filters are easy to slide or swap out, and it’s one of the few things you can do to maintain your filter without the help of a Gastech Solution Technician.

You should always double-check your user manual for specific recommendations, but generally speaking, it’s best to clean or change your filters once every 3 months. Remember, regular cleaning/changing of your filter will ensure the best filtration, increase the life of your machine, and give you peace of mind that you’re breathing easier.

Gastech Solutions can provide you with a year’s supply of proper air filters. Give the office a call 519-933-9823 for more information.

Look Around for Air Leaks

Small air leaks will force your HVAC equipment to run longer than it needs to, which will waste a great deal of energy and increase monthly energy bills. Two common places to find leaks are around the edges of doors and windows. Fix these trouble areas with caulking or weather-stripping.

Remove Debris from the Outdoor Unit

If your system has an outdoor unit, there’s a good chance that dirt and debris have collected around it, often including branches, leaves bird’s nests, animal droppings, and a slew of other items from nature. This can cause your HVAC system to run inefficiently, be sure to remove any debris near your unit.

If you’d like to know more about back-to-school HVAC maintenance, or have other home comfort questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office and talk to a pro 519-933-9823.

Proudly heating and cooling St. Thomas, Aylmer, Port Stanley, and surrounding areas.

 

Become a Gastech Solutions Preferred Customer Call the office today 519-933-9823

 

#GastechSolutionsinc

#FurnaceRepairStThomas

#StThomasHeatingandCooling

#StThomasProud

#HVACMaintenance

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Gaastech Solutions Peewee baseball coaches st. thomas ontario

Proud Sponsor of St. Thomas Peewee Baseball Team

Once again we had the privilege of sponsoring this amazing group of players and coaches!! Not only did they finish the year by taking second place in their year-end tournament but demonstrated what this game is all about positive teamwork!!

A big shout out to Jamie and Don the coaches, who did an awesome job of encouraging the players to stay positive no matter what, the players who constantly cheered their teammates on, and the parents who backed this team up 100%! Way to go Gastech Team Congratulations!!?⚾?

Gaastech Solutions Peewee baseball coaches st. thomas ontario

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9 Ways to Save Energy & Reduce Your Energy Costs This Summer

The heat is on St. Thomas!

It’s time to make a game plan for saving energy this summer and avoiding skyrocketing energy bills. Here are a variety of ways you can offset the season’s rising temperatures.

1. FAN YOURSELF
Buying stand, box or ceiling fans is a small investment that can reduce your energy costs. Using fans to help cool your home means you can raise the thermostat setting by 4 degrees without reducing your comfort level. Just remember to turn off the fans when you’re not in the room. They aren’t intended to cool the space — just the people in the space, via the wind chill effect.

2. OPTIMIZE YOUR THERMOSTAT SETTING
According to the Department of Energy, setting your thermostat at 78 degrees F / 25 C in the summer can save you up to 10% in energy costs each year. If 78 f / 25 C is too warm for you, you can adjust it a bit lower to be comfortable. Just remember that for every degree you raise your thermostat above 72 F / 22 C, you save up to 3% of your cooling expenses.

Consider getting aprogrammable thermostat, so you can program a warmer setting when you’re not home and automatically start cooling your home right before you get back. If you’re into technology, try a wireless remote thermostat, like the ComfortLink™ II,  that can be paired with the Nexia™ system and your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer to control your air conditioner from wherever you are.

3. UPGRADE YOUR AIR CONDITIONER AND APPLIANCES
If you’re ready to take your summer energy savings to the next level, go for a system upgrade. Heating and cooling use nearly half of the energy in your home, so investing in an energy-efficient system is a smart move that will save you money in the long run.

When you’re upgrading your air conditioner, look for Energy Star certified systems that have a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) ratings. They’ll be 15% more efficient than other models. While you’re going green, think about upgrading your entire home with Energy Star appliances. At the very least, schedule seasonal maintenance for your air conditioner and other systems, so they’re working their best.

4. GO LOW FLOW
In the summer, water usage usually increases — whether it’s watering your lawn or taking more post-swim showers. Keep outdoor watering costs down by only watering grass and plants in the early morning or at dusk, so the water doesn’t evaporate in the summer heat. Another secret to having an energy-efficient home is installing low-flow water fixtures. These work well on showerheads, toilets and even your outdoor sprinkler.

5. WASH WITH COLD WATER
Here’s a quick summertime money saver. Change up your laundry routine by only washing and rinsing your clothes with cold water. If you do it year-round, it could save you around $200 annually.

6. CLOSE THE BLINDS & CHECK YOUR SEALS
Kicking up the AC isn’t the only way to keep your home cooler in the hot summer months. Take a quick walk around the house and close all the blinds and curtains. This will keep your rooms from heating up too much and being super hard to cool with your air conditioner or fan. Another tip to keep warm air outside is to add weather stripping to your doors and windows.

7. KEEP YOUR FRIDGE COOL
Your refrigerator and freezer are essential to keeping your lemonade and popsicles cold all summer long. So, here are a few tips to save on your energy bill by maintaining your refrigerator properly. Set the thermostat between 35 and 38 degrees for the refrigerator and between 0 and 5 degrees for the freezer. Check the door seal and vacuum the coils. Make sure your fridge is always full of food (or even just jugs of water), so there’s less air space for it to have to cool.

8. RELAX AND UNPLUG
Keep your electronics from sucking up all your summer energy by unplugging your chargers, TV, computer and other small electronics when you’re not using them. It’s an easy way to save up to $100 a year, according to the Department of Energy.

9. DINE OUT
Whether you’re grilling a great meal or treating yourself to dinner at one of our great restaurants in St. Thomas Ontario (#stthomasproud), steering clear of your kitchen in the summer can reduce your energy bill. Using kitchen appliances can raise the temperature by 10 degrees. Not only will you reduce the energy you use to run those appliances, but you’ll also save on air conditioning costs to cool down your home.

Now that you’ve got a variety of energy-saving ideas that range from new habits to efficient upgrades, challenge yourself to see if you can lower your energy costs this summer. Then use those savings for a weekend vacation in the fall!

 

#StThomasNewACInstallation

#StthomasProud

#airconditioner

#StThomasEmergencyACRepair

#GastechSolutions

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5 Air Conditioning Myths That Are Costing You Money

Don’t waste your energy on these common beliefs

Want to save money on your air conditioning expenses and energy bills? Then don’t buy into these common A/C myths.

1. MYTH: THE SIZE OF YOUR A/C UNIT ISN’T IMPORTANT

FACT: The size of your HVAC unit depends on the size of your space. A too-small air conditioning system will have to work harder to cool your home and wear down sooner. A too-large system will keep turning off and on until it breaks down. Call 519-633-5106 to speak to a pro, we can help you choose the right size HVAC unit for your home.

2. MYTH: TURN THE TEMPERATURE DOWN FOR QUICKER COOLING

FACT: Your air conditioning unit works just as hard whether you lower it 3 degrees or 30 degrees — getting to the temperature you want is just a matter of time. If you set it lower than you need to and forget about it, you’ll end up paying a higher bill. Try using a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat to save money and get the temperature you actually want.

3. MYTH: YOU DON’T NEED TO CHANGE THE AIR FILTERS

FACT: You may vacuum your home on a regular basis, but it’s still important to check your air filters. Air filters are typically inexpensive and can save you money on repair costs and your electric bill in the long run. If you have trouble finding your air filter or replacing it, call a specialist to help you with replacement every 30-90 days.>

4. MYTH: RUN YOUR HVAC SYSTEM UNTIL IT QUITS

FACT: You’ll often hear this myth regarding cars, but it applies to HVAC units, too. Replacing an air conditioner might be more expensive upfront, but running your unit past its expiration date will be less efficient and cost you money in the long run on repairs. Start saving money on your energy bills sooner by replacing your old unit before it quits on you.

5. MYTH: MAINTENANCE DOESN’T MATTER

FACT: Broken units are inefficient units, so keep your HVAC unit performing at its peak. What might seem like a minor issue now could become an expensive one later if you don’t repair it. Gastech Solutions can help you with any and all issues you might be having with your air conditioning system. Consider purchasing a seasonal maintenance plan to keep your system in top shape year-round.

Call 519-633-5106 Schedule your seasonal maintenance today!

 

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How to Prep Your Home Before You Go on Vacation

Your must-do vacation checklist.

It might take a little extra work to get your home ready for vacation, but you’ll be able to relax more once you’re at your destination. Consider this your checklist for peace-of-mind while you’re getting away.

DON’T LEAVE ANY CLUES FOR THIEVES

Vacation season is prime time for criminals to make a visit. Take a few precautions to make your home look lived-in while you’re away. 

  • Park at least one car in the driveway, so it looks like someone’s at home
  • Hold all mail and packages or ask a neighbor to bring in your deliveries
  • Bring in your spare keys
  • Put your lights on a timer to mimic your family’s typical schedule
  • Mow your lawn and trim hedges
  • Set up smart locks for helpful neighbors and pet sitters
  • Play it safe and don’t mention your travel plans on social media

PRE-CLEAN YOUR HOUSE

Nobody wants to come home to a stinky situation. Keep your vacation vibe going by taking time to tidy up before you head out. That way you can come home and rest, instead of cleaning up a mess.

  • Clean out the refrigerator and freezer (before you take out the trash!)
  • Take out the trash — check every room
  • Vacuum, dust and wipe down counters and sinks
  • Make your bed, so you can sink right in when you get back

SET EVERYTHING TO ENERGY-SAVING MODE

If you’re gone for 3 days or more, take a vacation from your electric bill by dialing back your energy usage.

  • Set thermostats up to 25 degrees in the summer and as low as 13 degrees in the winter. If you have pets staying at home while you’re gone, choose a setting that will still keep them comfortable.
  • If you use smart home automation, turn your thermostat off completely so it won’t turn on every time your neighbor brings in the mail. Again, if you have pets staying in the house, keep the thermostat on and set at a comfortable temperature.
  • Unplug small electronics, especially chargers, which continually draw electricity and can increase your electric bill.
  • Close blinds and curtains to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Then your air conditioner and heater won’t have to work too hard while you’re on vacation.
  • Put the water heater on vacation mode if it has that option, so it operates more efficiently and gets a well-deserved break (like you!)

Checked everything off?  Then you’re all set. Enjoy your vacation and relax knowing you’ll come back to a happy home and lower energy bill.

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