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Vigilant Housekeeping Combined with Nifty Techniques Can Reduce “Dust Clouds” in Your Home

A common question asked by AC users everywhere is, “Every time my air conditioner turns on, it kicks up dust everywhere in my home. What can I do?” The key is to eliminate dust, not just move it around. You can keep “dust clouds” to a minimum with vigilant housekeeping and some nifty cleaning techniques.

Cleaning Techniques to Reduce Dust in Your Home

Be Vigilant about Housekeeping

  • Check your HVAC filter every month and replace it once you can no longer see through it. Otherwise, the excess buildup will impede the efficiency of your system and could funnel into your ducts.
  • Vacuum your carpets at least once a week, going over high-traffic areas twice.
  • Shake dust and dirt from throw rugs outdoors. Then toss them in the washing machine.
  • Wash bedding – sheets, pillowcases and blankets – in hot water at least twice a month. Dust mites love to nestle in bedding.
  • Declutter wherever you can. Piles of paper, books, magazines and toys are dust magnets.
  • Streamline your closet by storing clothes you don’t wear regularly in garment or plastic bags. Next to the fibers in your carpeting, more dust settles in closets than almost anywhere else in your home.
  • Clean your ceiling fan blades – a common source of “dust clouds” every time the blades begin to spin. Make this often-dreaded household task much easier by using a dryer sheet to lift dust. You can even wrap a dryer sheet around an extended paint roller to help you reach.

Adopt Some Dust-Trapping Cleaning Techniques

  • Dryer sheets also work particularly well on TV and computer screens – not only lifting dirt but keeping the screens cleaner for longer periods of time.
  • You may love your feather duster, but instead of lifting dust, it sends it flying to different locations around the room. If you haven’t made the switch to microfiber cloths, buy a bundle and watch how they draw dust like a vacuum. Shake them out, toss them in the washing machine and enjoy them for years.
  • Pleated lampshades can confound even professional house cleaners – unless they’ve tried using a (clean) dry paintbrush. The soft bristles fit snugly into creases. Alternatively, try using a lint roller.
  • Cleaning ceramic is simple if you rub it with a slice of lemon. Let the juice sit for about 15 minutes. Then polish the ceramic with a microfiber cloth.
  • An obscure, but effective, tool for cleaning oil paintings is a piece of white bread. The moisture picks up dust easily, also making it ideal for other dusty jobs if you’re in a pinch.

Schedule an Air Duct Cleaning with Instant Air

It is just as vital that your air ducts remain free of dust, dirt and grime as anything else in your house. Instant Air is here to help! Call us at 702-385-2665 to schedule an air duct cleaning today!

How to Know if the Door-to-Door AC Inspections Solicitor is a Scam

The BBB, our national business watchdog, has issued a flurry of “scam alerts” notifying homeowners around the country about door-to-door hucksters trying to sell everything from AC inspections and duct cleaning services to gutters and siding.

You might think that anyone who tries to drum up business by going door-to-door is on the shady side. But the BBB isn’t willing to go that far, saying that some door-knockers “operate ethically and represent reputable companies.” They are simply trying to make a living — and often seize the opportunity to do so after a neighborhood has been struck by an act of nature, such as torrential rains, hail, high winds, floods or other natural disasters. In times like these, they can provide a much-needed service (though their inflated fees don’t always conform to their purported compassionate presence).

It’s the shady characters you have to stare down, and we want to help you put on your game face. After all, you didn’t schedule an appointment for these people to visit your home. They’re showing up with the hope they can sell you something, so heed these five “buyer beware” tips from the BBB:

  • Stand your ground if you have a “no solicitors” sign near your front door. A Las Vegas code reads that “no person engaged in peddling or soliciting shall…attempt to peddle or solicit at any dwelling where there is displayed near its entrance a sign bearing the words ‘no peddlers or solicitors’ or other words of similar import…”
  • Ask to see identification. An honest sales person won’t hide anything, especially identification. Door-to-door sales people may not wear shirts imprinted with their name and company – unlike the technicians at Instant Air – but they should offer a photo ID and business card.
  • Resist offers that are accompanied by deadline pressure. “One-day only” offers are often extended by “contractors” who won’t be in town two days later. And “group” discounts that are conditional on the mutual acceptance of neighbors are suspicious, too. Reputable contractors don’t resort to high-pressure tactics.
  • Know your rights if you do sign a contract. The Federal Trade Commission’s “three-day cooling off rule gives consumers three days to cancel purchases of more than $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business.” A sales person should provide a receipt and a cancellation form that a consumer can send to the company to cancel the contract. By law, a company must provide a refund within 10 days of receiving a cancellation notice.
  • Trust your gut instinct. Better to talk with strangers outdoors. But if you do invite a stranger into your home and he (or she) gives you any reason to fear for your safety, ask the person to leave. If they delay or refuse, call 911.

Be Safe and Avoid the AC Inspection Scams

With worries like these to navigate, it’s no wonder that so many Las Vegas residents simply do not answer the doorbell for sales people. And if they need an important service such as an AC inspection or duct cleaning, they call a reputable, trustworthy company that has long called Las Vegas home – and has the satisfied customers to prove it. Give Instant Air a call at (702) 385-2665 and you can rest easy knowing our technicians put our custom

How to Prep Your AC Unit Before Leaving on Vacation

You know from experience: just because you’re taking a vacation doesn’t mean your worries about what’s going on at home, like if your AC unit is running up your utility bill, take a vacation, too.

Of course, there’s a big difference between fleeting, intermittent thoughts of home and acute preoccupation, and the latter will probably interfere with the vacation you’ve planned, saved for and really want to enjoy.

Preparation is the surest way to liberate your anxieties so nothing goes haywire in your absence. Here are a few things to check off your list before locking up and leaving for vacation.

Secure Your AC Unit

  • Schedule your annual air conditioner tune-up, if you haven’t already. Your AC unit needs to be cleaned and lubricated regularly to ensure it runs efficiently (and saves you money on operating costs) and doesn’t conk out when you want or need it most. Think of those first crucial minutes as you walk through the door from vacation, drop your suitcases and lower the thermostat to cool down your home. A malfunctioning AC unit is one of the last things you’ll want to contend with.
  • Change your AC unit filter. Instant Air can do this for you during a tune-up, but it’s always a good idea to keep a few spare filters on hand. Check the filter every month and replace it when it’s so dirty you cannot see through it. And in our hot and dusty climate, the filter can get dirty in a hurry.
  • Turn up your thermostat, but do not completely turn off your air conditioner while you’re on vacation. It may seem like a waste of energy because no one will be home to enjoy the cool air you have to pay for. However, wood floors, doors and cabinets can expand and buckle in the face of excessive heat, and doors may no longer close properly. Set your thermostat to 88 degrees – the rationale being that this is about 10 degrees higher than you should set your thermostat at in the summer while you’re home, according to the S. Department of Energy. At 88 degrees, it will be warm in your house, but not excessive. Plus, your air conditioner will still be working to reduce humidity in the air so you do not return to a sauna-like environment.

Take Other Smart Safety Precautions

Your AC unit may be your most looming concern, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Before you leave on vacation, be sure to:

  • Turn off the main water supply. On the off-chance a pipe bursts while you’re on vacation, you will be spared a potential assault of thousands of gallons of water – and thousands of dollars in damages, too.
  • Unplug every single electrical device that is plugged directly into a wall in case there is a power interruption (or worse: a lightning strike) while you’re away. For devices plugged into a surge protector, flip the switch to the “off” position.
  • Put timers on lights throughout your home — in the back and front and on both levels — to foster the impression you’re home.
  • Install a motion-activated sensor on a floodlight in the backyard to deter a would-be burglar.

Leave for Vacation Knowing Your Home & AC Unit Will Be Fine

Mark these items off your preparation checklist and have an Instant Air technician give a quick AC unit tune-up so you can rest easy while on vacation. Also, if you need us for any reason while you’re on vacation, give us a call at (702) 385-2665 and we can be there. We know full well: you need one less thing to worry about while you’re on vacation.

How Often Should You Receive Las Vegas Air Conditioning Service Tune-Ups

During a moderate Las Vegas summer, you might be skeptical. You might even be cynical. But this is no moderate Las Vegas summer; this is one for the record books.

So it’s no time to doubt the advice of an authoritative source: if you haven’t yet scheduled your Las Vegas air conditioning service tune-up this year with Instant Air, it should be the next task on your “to-do” list.

Take it from the U.S. Department of Energy: “Maintain your equipment to prevent future problems and unwanted costs. Keep your cooling and heating system at peak performance by having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups.”

Add Up the Reasons Why Las Vegas Air Conditioning Service is Necessary

Avoiding an expected breakdown on a steamy summer day is one motivator to schedule an appointment for Las Vegas air conditioning service. But a tune-up carries three other major benefits as well:

  • Benefit No. 1: A tuned-up air conditioner runs more efficiently. Cleaning and lubricating are two of the chief functions of a yearly air conditioner tune-up. Dirt is an air conditioner’s biggest nemesis, and an extreme buildup can even cause it to shut down. “An air conditioner’s filters, coils and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service,” the Department of Energy says.
  • Benefit No. 2: A tuned-up air conditioner is a more economical air conditioner. A clean and lubricated air conditioner will not run as long to reach the temperature you’ve set on the thermostat. And the less your air conditioner runs, the less it will cost you each month. “Best practices” in maintenance can reduce energy use by between 10 to 20 percent across all climate zones in the United States, while “poor maintenance practices” can increase energy use by 30 to 60 percent, The New Buildings Institute says.
  • Benefit No. 3: A tuned-up air conditioner should last longer and maybe exceed its 10-to-15-year expected lifespan. Next to your car, your air conditioner is probably the most complex piece of machinery you own (even more than a furnace, which can run for 25 years). And like your car, your air conditioner depends on regular maintenance to run smoothly and go the distance.

Instant Air’s Las Vegas Air Conditioning Service Covers All the Bases

At Instant Air, we follow the tune-up directives of the U.S. Department of Energy and:

  • Clean the entire system.
  • Lubricate all moving parts.
  • Check the refrigerant.
  • Test for refrigerant leaks.
  • Check for and seal duct leaks.
  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil.
  • Verify the correct electric control sequence.
  • Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections and apply a non-conductive coating, if necessary.
  • Check the belts for tightness and wear.
  • Check the accuracy of the thermostat.

Unlike your car, you probably have no idea how many “miles” you have put on your air conditioner since its last tune-up. But knowing the Las Vegas climate, the answer is probably considerable. Make an appointment for a Las Vegas air conditioning service tune-up with Instant Air by calling (702) 385-2667 before the heat gets the best of your system.

Things to Consider When it Comes Time for an HVAC Replacement in Las Vegas

Aged cooling, heating, and ventilation systems can be extremely loud, inefficient, and prone to frequent breakdowns. If you haven’t undergone an HVAC replacement in Las Vegas in the last decade, it’s time to consider it.

Repair or replace, what should you do?

Old AC Unit

The first questions we ask our customers when they request our advice for the repair vs. replace are when their equipment was installed and who installed it.

In general, air conditioners and furnaces manufactured in the 1990s and through today were designed to last upwards of 20 years in mild climates. However, you can hardly classify summers in Las Vegas as mild.

Often times, homes with an HVAC system installed by a building contractor, not specialized as an HVAC technician, have an undersized unit since they simply choose based on the size of the home. However, there’s much more to cooling and heating a home properly than simple square footage. Getting an improperly sized HVAC unit can lead to a whole host of issues, including increased wear and tear, insufficient cooling or heating and poor humidity control.

Therefore, we recommend HVAC replacement in Las Vegas for any equipment older than 10 years or if you are experiencing any of the following problems common with an inefficient and/or improperly sized HVAC system:

  • Frequent break downs
  • High energy bills for your neighborhood and home size
  • Variances of temperatures throughout the home, meaning some rooms feel too hot or too cold
  • Issues with humidity levels
  • Excessive dust throughout your home
  • Unreasonably loud equipment appearing to continually cycle on/off

First steps to HVAC replacement in Las Vegas

Should you opt for HVAC replacement in Las Vegas through Instant Air, our team will begin with a consultation at your home. We will look at all your cooling and heating needs, while retrieving accurate readings from your home, to ensure you get the best-sized HVAC system for your home.

In addition to ensuring you get the most efficient sized and designed HVAC system, we also offer specials on the latest in energy efficiency, check-ups, and installations, just in time for the hot summer season.

Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and friendly HVAC experts, by calling (702) 385-2665 today.

When to Contact an Expert for AC Repair in Las Vegas

Air Conditioning RepairEvery summer day, in hundreds of sweltering homes across Las Vegas, a sweating homeowner stands before a thermostat with a flushed mixture of frustration and fear.

When your air conditioner isn’t turning on, or your home isn’t cooling as it should, these emotions fight for control. So allow the most reliable and trustworthy air conditioning company in Las Vegas help you take control with a three-step plan:

  1. Check common triggers that may be causing your air conditioner to malfunction.
  2. Look for signs your air conditioner might need a repair.
  3. Then call Instant Air for AC repair in Las Vegas so you – and your home – can regain your cool.

Put first things first with common triggers

  • Ensure the thermostat is set to “cool.” If it is, lower the temperature by a few degrees to see if it turns on. If your thermostat relies on a battery, replace it.
  • Slide out your air conditioner filter and replace it if it’s choked with dust and dirt. Filthy filters can incapacitate an air conditioner and a clean filter can restore it to working order.
  • Switch the circuit breaker devoted to your air conditioner off and then back on again. A power surge – one so minor you may have been unaware of it – can stall an air conditioner.

Search for signs you need to call an expert

Look for the following trouble signs, which signify you should call a licensed air conditioner expert for AC repair in Las Vegas:

  • A buildup of dirt on the coil, compressor or fan. Like dirt on the filter, dirt on an air conditioner’s components can cause it to malfunction. This is why an annual air conditioner tune-up is so crucial; it keeps your air conditioner clean and lubricated.
  • Damaged wires, connections or a burning smell when (and if) your air conditioner turns on. If you don’t immediately discover damaged wires or connections, you’ll definitely catch the burning smell. An annual air conditioner tune-up will also prevent these problems.
  • Your air conditioner is short-cycling repeatedly. Some quick on-and-off cycles are expected, especially on very hot days or when people are letting outdoor air indoors. But repeated short-cycling can eventually cause an air conditioner to shut down.
  • A puddle of water near the compressor. Water is a sure sign of a crack in the condensate pan or drain line or a blocked drain line.
  • The compressor is covered with ice or slush. This condition is a result of restricted or blocked air flow.
  • You hear unusual noises. These can run the gamut from high-pitched squealing or buzzing to banging and clanking noises. You know your air conditioner. A noise you’re not accustomed to hearing is like a cry for help.

Reach out to Instant Air for AC repair in Las Vegas

Answer your air conditioner’s cry by calling the efficient and skilled Las Vegas AC repair technicians at Instant Air. Next to your vehicle, your air conditioner is the most complex piece of machinery in your home. Let us restore the cool air to your home – and quickly put your frustration and fear on ice.

Call (702) 385-2665 to set up an appointment today.

How to Put Less Stress on Your Las Vegas Air Conditioning & Protect Your Home From the Summer Heat

With the high temperatures and powerful sun in the Las Vegas area during the summertime, it can be a challenge to keep your home comfortable without spending a fortune on cooling costs. By reducing stress on your Las Vegas air conditioning system, you can help it run more efficiently and effectively. Here are a few simple ways to make the job easier for your cooling system.

Ways to Help Your Las Vegas Air Conditioning

Avoid solar gain:

Summer sun streaming in through the windows can heat your home quickly. Close curtains and blinds in west or south-facing windows during the daytime to block the heat of the sun, and consider installing awnings to help increase shade.

Install fans:

Ceiling fans or portable fans can circulate the air and make you feel cooler at a higher temperature, allowing you to raise the thermostat and reduce the load on your Las Vegas air conditioning system. Turn off the fans when a room is not occupied to save energy.

Reduce heat gain:

Avoid activities that generate heat and humidity during the daytime, such as washing clothes, running the dishwasher or using the oven. Postpone those activities to the evening when it is cooler and use exhaust fans while bathing or cooking to remove excess heat and humidity.

Use efficient appliances:

Choose appliances and electronics that are energy-efficient to avoid producing extra heat, such as Energy Star-certified refrigerators, computers, televisions and other devices. Replace heat-generating incandescent light bulbs with cooler CFL or LED lighting, which will reduce both heat output and energy costs.

Seal and insulate:

If your home is drafty or lacks insulation, your Las Vegas air conditioning system is working much harder than it needs to. Seal windows and doors with caulk or weather-stripping, and use expanding foam or caulk to seal around openings in exterior walls, such as holes drilled for pipes, wires, dryer vents or light fixtures. If your home has little to no insulation, especially in the attic and walls, consider adding some to keep your home cooler for less money.

Install a programmable thermostat:

Keeping your home ice-cold while you are working or away is a waste of energy. With a programmable thermostat, you can raise the temperature when you leave automatically, and reduce it in time to arrive to a cool home. Increasing the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees when leaving can reduce your cooling costs by up to 10 or 20 percent. While home, set the temperature as high as possible. Each degree over 72 can reduce cooling costs by 1 to 3 percent.

Have your AC serviced:

To run efficiently, your Las Vegas air conditioning system needs regular maintenance, such as cleaning coils, changing the air filter and checking the refrigerant charge. Have the system professionally serviced at least once or twice a year, and check the air filter yourself monthly to help keep it running properly. If your system is older, consider upgrading to an energy-efficient model with a high SEER rating.

Schedule a Las Vegas Air Conditioning Inspection

Feel like your air conditioner isn’t quite ready for the Vegas summer heat? Contact the Instant Air team by calling 702-900-0127 today and one of our Las Vegas air conditioning experts can make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible so you can stay cool this summer.

Benefits of Upgrading to an Energy Efficient HVAC System in Las Vegas

You may know your air conditioner or furnace are on borrowed time, but this realization doesn’t necessarily make it easy to push forward and purchase a new HVAC system for your Las Vegas home.

Since a new system represents a major investment, it is a smart move to research your options. If it’s been awhile since replacing your HVAC system, you may be unaware of all that energy efficient models offer. Here are the top five benefits you can expect when upgrading to an energy efficient HVAC system.

Benefits of Energy Efficient HVAC Systems

  • 1. Uses energy more efficiently and saves you money on utility bills.

    As you may know, air conditioning systems are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), which is the amount of energy needed to produce a specific amount of cooling. Many HVAC systems in older Las Vegas homes have SEER ratings of six or less; the minimum SEER allowed today is 13. Take it from the U.S. Department of Energy: “Today’s best air conditioners use 30 to 50 percent less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid 1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20 to 40 percent of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.”

  • 2. Frees you from the worry of a breakdown or repair on a hot summer day.

    When else would you expect an air conditioner to break down but on one of the hottest days of the year? It’s not only Murphy’s Law; it’s practically a certainty if your HVAC in Las Vegas is at least 10 years old. Most systems are built to last about 15 years and tend to develop operational problems that require more frequent repairs during the last few years of their lifespan. It’s difficult to live with the unrelenting background noise of a ticking clock – a sign your HVAC system is on borrowed time.

  • 3. Improves air flow in your home and removes impurities.

    Today’s best energy-efficient HVAC systems feature variable speed motors and advanced filtration systems that produce consistent air flow that can eliminate mold spores, bacteria and viruses. Better indoor air translates to better health by: mitigating allergy and asthma symptoms, reducing the risk of respiratory disease, lessening the frequency and intensity of colds and viruses and improving sleep quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says.

  • 4. Better at eliminating humidity and will make your home feel more comfortable.

    Conquering humidity – not warm air – was the primary reason Willis Carrier set out to invent air conditioning. Then again, the “father of air conditioning” never lived in Las Vegas, where many people also depend on his invention to counteract triple-digit temperatures. Today’s best systems provide both “creature comforts” in equal measure.

  • 5. Less noise and much quieter than older systems.

    If you’ve grown accustomed to “talking over” your air conditioner when you’re near the air handler, you can change your ways once a new HVAC system is installed. Like cars, computers and other machines, HVAC systems have grown considerably quieter in recent years.

Upgrade to an Energy Efficient Las Vegas HVAC System

As enticing as these benefits are, they are not automatic and require a proper installation by experienced technicians. An HVAC system that is too small for a home will not cool it sufficiently, while a system that is too large will run and then quickly shut off before it has time to properly remove humidity.

Call Instant Air, the most experienced and trusted HVAC company in Las Vegas, to set up a consultation today. Be sure to mention our Efficiency Discount to receive up to $3500 off your energy efficient system replacement.

No, it’s not you; some AC problems are common

HVAC Problems

You might not subscribe to the notion that “misery loves company.” But when it comes to heating and air conditioning repair in Las Vegas, it sure can help to know that some problems are common.

Just consider the functions of your heating and air conditioning system. A gas, forced-air heating system shifts into high gear when the thermostat sends a signal that the room temperature has fallen below the setting. The thermostat sends a signal to the furnace to turn on the blower and open a valve for the gas. Once heat is created in the heat exchanger, the warmed air is pushed out through the ducts while the combustion gas is vented through the chimney.

Your air conditioner is even more complex: It pulls warm air out of your home, blows it over cool pipes, changes from a liquid to a gas and then back again, moves refrigerant between coils and then sends excess moisture (called condensate) through a condensate drain. Along the way, plenty of things can go wrong.

When it comes to heating and air conditioning repair in Las Vegas and many other places across the country, some problems are common. The U.S. Department of Energy cites these five problems as the most common of all:

  • A dirty filter. The soft, cushion-y feel of an HVAC filter belies the powerhouse function it serves. A clean filter actively traps dust and dirt to ensure proper air flow; a dirty one inhibits air flow and prevents your air conditioner from cooling the air and reducing humidity and your furnace from efficiently generating warm air. In the worst cases, a thoroughly clogged filter can shut down your heating and air conditioning system. Checking the filter every month and replacing it when you can no longer see through it is the single most important step you can take – followed by an annual tune-up – to ensure your HVAC system’s efficiency and staying power.
  • Refrigerant issues. If you feel air blowing from the registers but it’s not cool, your air conditioner could either be low on refrigerant or might have sprung a refrigerant leak. Small leaks at the valves can be difficult to pinpoint and require the expertise of a licensed technician who knows exactly what to look for – and how to fix it – so cool air blows freely once again.
  • Drainage problems. Here is another potential mystery that requires a licensed “detective” schooled in the ways of central air conditioners. Even if you spot a puddle near the compressor, a heating and air conditioner technician must trace whether the problem emanates from a blocked drain line or a crack in either the drain line or condensate pan to restore your air conditioner to full efficiency.
  • Electrical failures. A series of tests will determine whether your air conditioner is failing to turn on – or stay on – because of dirty, damaged or corroded wires or connections or a worn compressor or blower component. An annual tune-up is your best defense against electrical failures, which have a way of occurring on some of the hottest days of the year. But if you detect a burning smell as your air conditioner turns on, don’t delay making a call for service.
  • Thermostat disparities. It seems like the simplest of tasks: Set your thermostat to the temperature that suits you and then wait for your air conditioner or furnace to respond. But several factors can conspire to undermine a thermostat’s ability to function as it should, including its calibration and placement in your home. It’s easy to overlook a thermostat as the root of a heating and air conditioning repair in Las Vegas, but it’s a common culprit.

Common or not, HVAC problems can cause anyone to lose their cool. Leave it to the licensed heating and air conditioning experts at Instant Air Air Conditioning and Heating to track down the problem vexing your HVAC system and then repair it with skill and efficiency. We don’t believe that “misery loves company,” either; we believe that “comfort loves company.” You can count on Instant Air to restore comfort to your home – and help you keep your cool.

Contact Instant Air at 702.385.2665 today to schedule your heating and air conditioning repair.

Our Las Vegas HVAC Experts Teach You How to Save Money This Summer

If you are like the average household, you spend more than $2,200 a year on your energy bills, nearly half of which is spent on heating and cooling costs. With summer here, you likely want to turn your air conditioning up to full blast. However, you can cut down on your utility bills and avoid pricey repair bills by following these simple energy-saving tips provided by the Las Vegas HVAC experts at Instant Air…
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