3 Simple Steps to Choosing the Best Portable Air Conditioner For You

When it comes to selecting a portable air conditioner unit the first thing you need to think about is the size of the room you want to cool. If you buy a unit that is underpowered for your room then you will end up with a unit that won’t have the air flow and cooling power to fully cool the room. However, if you choose a unit that is too powerful you might find that you are using too much electricity and wasting money on running costs. So it’s really important to get it right.

To help you ensure you get the perfect portable air conditioning unit for your needs I’ve created a simple 3-step process.

3-simple-steps

Lets get started! – Select the BTU value for your room size from the table below:

Room Size Top Five Links
200 - 250 sq. ft. (10ft x 20ft) Jump To Top 5 8,000 BTU Reviews
300 - 350 sq. ft. (15ft x 20ft) Jump To Top 5 10,000 BTU Reviews
400 - 450 sq. ft. (20ft x 20ft) Jump To Top 5 12,000 BTU Reviews
500 - 550 sq. ft. (25ft x 20ft) Jump To Top 5 14,000 BTU Reviews

Top 5 10,000 BTU Picks

Picture Name Price Guide Comments Our Rating
Honeywell MN10CESWW $$$ Best rated and selling model currently on the market in its category
Full Review
Whynter ARC-10WB $$+ Best value 10,000 BTU portable unit
Full Review
Shinco YPL310C $$$+ Lightweight, new entry into the market that's turning heads
Full Review
Whynter ARC-110WD $$$+ Dual hose model for extra efficency
Full Review
LG LP1015WSR $$$ Very easy to install and move around
Full Review
Unit Details

Honeywell MN10CESWW

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Well over 70% of reviews were 4 or 5 stars
Comes in a range of colours - black and black/silver are often available at a lower price!
Top rated portable air conditioner on the Amazon best seller chart
Reported by users as being a quiet portable air conditioner (although noise is very subjective)
Lightweight, only 61lbs so easy to move around
Around 12% of users were not happy with the product
Most issues reported are related to products that were defective on arrival

"This could be the one for me, take me to Amazon please!"

Summary: This is the No. 1 Best Seller in its category on Amazon.com and is also our best rated portable air conditioner. The 10,000 BTU model is ideal for smaller rooms such as a study, home office areas or a smaller bedroom up to around 350 sq/ft.

The Honeywell weight is just under 62lbs and it measures up at 15.2 x 18.1 x 29.4 inches. Simple but clear on-unit controls and a great remote makes it easy to use. The moving blade also means that it distributes air evenly around the room.

The 3M electrostatic filter offers enhanced air filtration but is still easy to maintain when required. A 5-year limited and 1-year full warranty provide peace of mind making this unit altogether a great buy.

Unit Details

Whynter ARC-10WB

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Great value for money
Eco-Friendly CFC fee and ozone friendly design
Antibacterial Silver Ion Filter for cleaner air circulation
Well over 70% of reviewers provide 4 or 5 stars
Controllable air flow direction
Water tanks can fill quickly in humid areas (although a continuous drain option is available)
Some issues reported with the hose attachment

"I like the sound of this one, go to Amazon.com for the latest price deals"

Summary: This is a great value for money unit. However, just because it’s a cheaper air conditioner doesn’t mean it doesn’t pull its weight. Although still 10,000 BTU it’s only rated for rooms up to 300 sq/ft but cools rooms quickly and efficiently. Great as a stand-alone unit or can be combined with other types of central or window air conditioners to give your home a boost of clean cool air when the weather is really hot.

Wynter have made a real effort to focus on making this an eco-friendly unit and offer 3 operating modes so you can select the best mode for the current weather conditions and make sure you only use the energy to need to so there is less wasted cost.

It’s easy to maintain and comes with an upgraded antibacterial silver ion filter for enhanced air quality.

Unit Details

Shinco YPL310C

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Low Cost
Very light, only 54lb so ideal for moving around
Smart, stylish and slim design
Over 70% of customers rate it highly
Quiet operation
Air only flows in one direction
Most 1 star reviews related to items defective on arrival

"I'm ready to buy this unit - show me the best deals at Amazon.com"

Summary of Shinco YPL310C: This is another low-cost 10,000 BTU unit from Shinco. Its slim design and gentle curves make it one of the more attractive units. It weights only 54 lbs and at 17in x 13in x 31.3in has a tall but thin profile. The manufacturer rates it as being best for rooms up to 300 sq/ft. Easy to maintain and with an excellent self-evaporation system that means you very rarely have to empty the water tank. The Shinco is ideal, if not probably the best, portable air conditioner for home gyms.

Unit Details

Whynter ARC-110WD

Reviewer: Marnie Davidson

Plenty of positive feedback online
Dual hose design for excellent efficency
Washable Pre-filter and activated carbon filter for healthier indoor air quality
Eco-Friendly design
Slightly heavier that other units at 65lbs
Some people can find the 2 hose deisgn bulky

"This could be the one for me, take me to Amazon please!"

Summary of Whynter ARC-110WD: The 110 WD has outlet fans on the top of the unit and their design gives it an almost futuristic look and feel. Like the Shinco above it’s a slim but tall construction and has an excellent LCD display window to allow you to instantly see the status of the unit and its set temperature.

The two hose design is a real advantage when it comes to operating efficiency and this will mean you’ll get quicker cooling and a lower operating cost when compared to a single-hose portable AC unit.

The unit is more expensive and heavier than some of the other units in this review. However, it does have a slightly higher 11000 BTU and is rated for rooms up to 350 sq/ft. This makes it a great unit for workshops, hot garages and smaller family rooms.

Unit Details

LG LP1015WSR

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Directable airflow blades
Easy to install
Competitively priced
Short power cord
Only 2 fan speeds

"Go to Amazon to check out the latest prices and reviews"

Summary Review of the LG LP1015WSR: LG air conditioning units can be some of the best value units on the market and this 10,000 BTU unit is right up there as one of the better ones. Users report that it’s easy and quick to install and cools quickly, sometimes even more that the 300 sq/ft it’s rated for.

The controls are clear and easy to understand and in the main most users are very satisfied with the LG’s performance. It’s a simple but stylish unit that measures 12.8 x 16.9 x 27.4 inches so is one the smaller units in its class. It comes with a 1 year parts and labour warranty for peace of mind.

Top 5 12,000 BTU Picks

Picture Name Price Guide Comments Our Rating
Honeywell MN12CES $$$$ Best selling 12,000 BTU unit on Amazon - 1000s of customers can't all be wrong!
Full Review
Shinco YPF1-12C $$$ Lowest cost unit in the top 5. Great feedback on Amazon.com
Full Review
Haier HPN12XCM $$$+ Stylish design and best value for money unit in the 12,000 BTU range
Full Review
Whynter ARC-12S $$$ Eco-Friendly and RoHS compliant design, enhanced filter for cleaner air
Full Review
DeLonghi PACN110EC $$$$ Most features and best use of new technology
Full Review
Unit Details

Honeywell MN12CES

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

More than 70% of users rate the unit 4 or 5 stars on Amazon
Exellent auto evaporation system
Quiet operation, only 53db
3M electrostatic filter
Cools up to 450 sqr/ft
Some minor reliablity issues

Honeywell MN12CES Review Summary: Honeywell has a stong track record in creating great portable AC units at a great price. The 12CES is no exception and vast majority of reviews on Amazon back this up.

It measures 15.7 inches wide, 16.5 inches deep and 29.3 inches high and weighs 68.3lbs. It has a quiet (for an AC unit) 53dbA operating volume and its 12,000 BTU cooling power easily deals with rooms up to 450 sq/ft.

The unit has an 3M electrostatic filter for extra clean, a decent set of castors for portability, and a fully functional remote control for extra convenience. The auto evaporation system greatly reduces the build up of water in the unit and virtually eliminates the need to empty the water container on a regular basis. This is our number 1 recommendation in the 12,000 BTU range.

Unit Details

Shinco YPF1-12C

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Best value unit in the top 5
4 way directable air flow blades for extra contol
Cools areas up to 400 sq/ft
only 52lbs, lightest unit in the range
Well over 70% of users give it a high rating on Amazon.com
No programmable mode to automatically switch on or off
Hose can get hot, but this is common for all units

"Get this great value unit at Amazon.com"

Shinco YPF1-12C Review Summary: I’m a fan of the Shinco units. They tend to look a little more quirky than the run of the mill designs, are well built and are great value, often the cheapest in their class. This one is no exception. I’ve actually created an in-depth review of the YPF-12C here if you want to read more about it.

This unit has 3 cooling speeds and a 4-way air flow direction control which moves the air efficiently around the room. It cools areas of up to 400 sq/ft and weighs just over 52lbs so it’s very light for this type of device. In terms of size it measures 14.2 inches wide by 13.3 inches deep and is only 24.7 inches tall. This is the smallest in the 12,00o BTU range and is also smaller than some of the 10,000 and even 8,000 BTU models.

I felt the Honeywell just sneaked into top spot because it had been in the market longer and has a slightly lower operating noise (although the Shinco is by no means loud). A great purchase and well worth reading what others have said about it on Amazon.

Unit Details

Haier HPN12XCM

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Stylish black and silver design
5 years warranty on the internal sealed system
Quick to install
Big cooling area - up to 450 sq/ft
Great value for money
Distinctive design will not be to everyone's taste or style
A limited number of customer services issues reported

"Please take me to Amazon to check out the latest prices and reviews"

Haier HPN12XCM Review Summary: Haier has created a very distinctive looking model. The black casing and silver panel gives a contemporary look. However, the on-unit and remote control buttons look chunky and a bit dated. There is an updated model which is called the HPN12XCR. This unit is lighter and smaller but it’s slightly more expensive and not getting the same great customer feedback at the moment as its older sibling. My recommendation would be to go with this tried and tested unit for now if you want to purchase a Haier.

It weighs 74.3lbs which is heavy, but not the heaviest in the 12,000 BTU class and has overall dimensions of 17.8in wide, 15.2 deep and 29.5 high. This is only slightly bigger overall than the Honeywell MN12CES. The 3 fan and 3 cooling modes give it plenty of flexibility, and window the kit is quick to install so you should be up and running in no time. A great value unit and well worth looking into in more depth.

Unit Details

Whynter ARC-12S

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

A great value unit for the price
Includes dual filter system for clearner air and enhanced odor control
Well built, sturdy window kit and hose
Well thought out control panel and unit design
Eco-friendly design, including the use of R-410A refrigerant for less ozone impact
Hose reported to be well built but short and does get hot
No verticle adjustment on the air vents

"Get the best deals at Amzon.com now"

Whynter ARC-12S Review Summary: The 12,000 BTU category has some very tough competition and this Whynter is another great model. This one has a commanding front air outlet grill and silver body that looks sleek and a little futuristic so might not instantly be a hit with everyone’s taste.

It has a long 60″ (5ft) hose which allows more flexibility when connecting to higher set windows (some unit’s hoses are only 48″).  The air filter system on the Whynter is excellent and has a standard particle filter, but also includes a carbon air filter for additional filtration to increase your indoor air quality. This is useful if you live in areas where there are higher levels of air contaminants i.e. city centres locations or close to airports.

The ARC-12S weighs 62lbs, which is average for this type of device but is slightly larger-built than its peers at 15.5, 17, 31 inches wide, deep and high. It’s jam packed with Eco-Friendly features and won’t break the bank on running costs either. A very good value-for-money unit and often comes with a great discount so check out Amazon to see what the latest offer is.

Unit Details

DeLonghi PACN110EC

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Lightest portable unit in the top 5
Simple to set-up in minutes
R410A refrigerant gas to protect the environment
Good castors for easy mobility
11,500 BTU for 400 sq/ft coverage
More expensive than other units, but still good overall value for the excellent features provided
On unit control panel may initially look complicated ( however they are easy to understand after using it for a few days)

"Go to Amazon to check out the latest prices and reviews""

DeLonghi PACN110EC Review Summary: It’s number 5 on the list but there is little separating these top 5 units so don’t let this put you off. The PACN110EC has a more expensive price point but does buy you a very well built, high-quality unit by arguably the top portable AC unit manufacturer. This is reflected in the feedback with close to three-quarters of buyers giving it a 4 or 5-star rating.

At 11,000 BTU it has a slightly lower power consumption than the other units but is still rated for areas up to 400 sq/ft so still offers the same volume of cooling coverage. The black design is smart and classy and it has a set of useful built-in handles and a set good castors to help move the 62.3lb unit around.

It can be set up in minutes, has a washable quick-change filter and auto evaporation feature so the set up is quick and the maintenance in low. The leaves you to get on with getting out of the heat and relaxing in cool, comfortable air.

One minor niggle is that the airflow is not adjustable. It is, however, directed up and into the room so you do get good circulation of cooled air.

Overall it’s another great unit. More expensive that other models but with that you do get your money’s worth in terms of build quality.

Top 5 14,000 BTU Best Buys

Picture Name Price Guide Comments Our Rating
Whynter ARC-14S $$$$ Dual host design for excellence efficiency
Full Review
BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT $$$$ Fantastic customer feedback on this unit
Full Review
LG Electronics LP1414GXR $$$$ Lightest weight 14,000 BTU unit for easier portability
Full Review
Honeywell MM14CHCS $$$$$ Integrated heat pump for all year round use
Full Review
Haier HPN14XCM $$$$$$ Cools up to 700 sq/ft but is more expensive than other units
Full Review
Unit Details

Whynter ARC-14S

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Dual hose design increases the operating efficiency and save you money on running costs
Packed with Eco-Friendly design features
101 pints per day of dehumidifying capability
EER of 11.2
Great reliablity and longevity
The window unit is good, but has some reported issues (see Amazon.com reviews for more details)
It's light for it class but still heavy for the average person to lift up stairs

"Sounds like an interesting unit, take me to Amazon to find out more please"

Whynter ARC-14S: The Whynter is a dual hose model. This design instantly makes it far more efficent than single hose designs. In other words you’ll get the same amount of cooling as a similar single hose design but quicker, and therefore for less running costs.

It’s also a great value for money unit and for the two hose design is surprisingly the best-priced unit out of the list. This is why we’ve classed it as our top pick.

The PAC unit is 35.5 by 19 by 16 inches (H x W x D) so taller but slimmer that some of the others in the top 5. It’s also jam-packed with Eco-Friendly features such as R-410A refrigerant and built using RoHS compliant components.

Unit Details

BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Top of the range B+D model includes a heat pump for heating as well as cooling rooms
Well designed and thought-out unit and remote
Automatic air circulation louvers
Easy and quick change filter for clean air
Best value unit in the top 5
Heavy unit at 83lbs, but has built-in lifting handles and good castor for easy rolling on most surfaces

"Get this great value unit at Amazon.com"

BLACK+DECKER BPACT14HWT: This is a well-built unit designed with simple clean lines and with excellent castors for moving around the home. Black & Decker are better known for their great hand tools but have now delivered an excellent range of portable air conditioning units that are some of the best on the market. In terms of size this 14,000 BTU unit measures in at 17.1 by 13.8 by 28.1 inches and is good for rooms up to 550 sq/ft.

The 14HWT also comes with an 11,000 BTU heat pump. A heat pump work in reverse of an air conditioning unit and takes hot air from outside the home and pumps it into your room to increase the temperature levels. This allows the unit to be used all year round, cooling in the summer and heating in the colder months.

Unit Details

LG Electronics LP1414GXR

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Easy to install and well-built window kit
Oscillating vent circulates air efficently
71.7 pounds, light unit in its class
Built-in water pump for continual draining in high humidity areas
Suitable for up to 600 sq/ft
Higher than usual number of units reported as damaged on arrival
Remote dosen't come with batteries - this is a minor issue but annoying

"Get this great value unit at Amazon.com"

LG Electronics LP1414GXR: LG have gone all out with this model. Like a growing number of portable air con manufacturers they have gone for a matt black design which is slim but tall (13 x 18.5 x 33.3 inches). All 14,000 BTU units tend to be heavier so at 71lbs it’s heavy for sure, but by no means the heaviest.

It has a massive 600 sq/ft cooling rating along with direction-controllable air blades which really help get the cool air circulating around the room. Three fan speeds and 3 cooling speeds give the unit flexibility so that you only need to use the right amount of power for the room size and air temperature you require so you can run it at an optimum cost, saving you money!

Unit Details

Honeywell MM14CHCS

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Includes a 12,000 BTU heat pump so the unit can be used in winter to heat your home too
550 sq/ft cooling area, largest of the top 5 portable units
Weighs 75lbs, light for a 14,000 BTU unit
3M electrostatic filter for cleaner and healthier indoor air quality
Only 54 dbA, so quiet (for a portable air conditioning unit) during operation
Some issues with units being damaged on arrival so requiring to be returned
Some users reported the unit to be noisier than advertised

"See the latest offers and best price at Amazon.com"

Honeywell MM14CHCS: Another unit that includes an integrated heat pump. Not as great value as the Whynter and only a single hose design means that we’ve popped this one in at number 4 on the top 5 picks.

A very capable unit, and the addition of a heat pump gives you the option to use it all year round. Honeywell are a well-established brand in this industry and provide some of the best selling portable AC units out there.

An upgraded 3M electrostatic filter is a great feature for improving the quality of the indoor air and there are a couple of neat design features such as a remote control holder, auto evaporation system and a low 53dbA operating noise that make the unit a worthy top 5 occupant and well worth buying.

Unit Details

Haier HPN14XCM

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

More than 70% of reviews rate it highly on Amazon.com
Large 500 sq/ft cooling coverage
Stylish design for an AC unit
Good size extraction hose - 6ft long so will fit most window configurations
Quiet air conditioner when operating
Expensive, but good quality
Air flow can be directed but this is not automatic and needs to be set manually

"Get this great value unit at Amazon.com"

Haier HPN14XCM: Too many users provided excellent feedback on this unit for it not to make the top 5! The Haier is a solid performer with a number of people claiming it’s one of the best units they’ve owned. The manufacturer claims the unit can cope with areas of up-to 700 sq/ft. It has a silver front panel which gives it an interesting look, although it might not be to everyone’s taste.

It’s easy to install, low-maintenance and has an air flow blade and well-designed castors for easy transportation over hard and carpeted surfaces. Measuring 55db from around 6ft it is also one of the quieter devices when operating, paticularly for the 14,000 BTU power rating.

Top 5 8,000 BTU Picks

Picture Name Price Guide Comments Our Rating
BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT $$+ High ratings on Amazon and a great value unit
Full Review
Della 8,000 BTU $$ Best value and outstanding customer feedback
Full Review
EdgeStar Ultra Compact AP8000W $$+ Well built with double filter for extra clean air
Full Review
Whynter ARC-08WB $$+ Slim, compact design with 2-way directional air flow
Full Review
SPT WA-8070E $$ Lightest unit in the top 5. Packed with eco features
Full Review
Unit Details

BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Simple but stylish design
Good remote with LCD display built-in
Great for smaller studies, bedrooms and computer rooms
Decent size extractor hose
Easy to install and well-built window kit
No control of air flow direction
Some issues contacting customer support

"Get this great value unit at Amazon.com"

BLACK-DECKER-BPACT08WT Review: Black+Decker have a long tradition in producing quality tools like drills, sanders, saws etc. They have now taken this experience into the portable air conditining market and have created a number of good quality products.

The BPCAT08WT is a classic design with a slightly off-white color, a simple and easy-to-understand and use control system. This unit is at the bottom end of the power ratings for a PAC and at 8,000 BTU has room coverage of 20 ft by 15 ft or 300 sq/ft. At 52.9 pounds it’s the second lightest unit in the range. In terms of size it measures up at 16.5 (w) inches by 11.5 (d) inches x 26 inches (h).

The quick-change filter for easy maintenance, sturdy castors, good mobility and excellent customer feedback make this unit our top pick in the 8,000 BTU category.

Unit Details

Della 8,000 BTU

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

New to the market (2016)
Outstanding customer feedback
Cools rooms up to 300 sq/ft
Fully directable air flow blades
Sleep mode for night time operation
Heavier that other similar units (but has great castors for easy rolling)
New model so limited customer feedback so far (see Amazon for latest feedback)

"Check out the latest reviews on Amazon.com"

Della 8,000 BTU Review: Della is a fairly new brand but is already getting great customer feedback. It’s a tall but slim unit at 11.5 inches (W) x 14-25 inches (L) x 30 inches (H) so has a small floor footprint. With a rated coverage of 300 sq/ft it’s better suited to smaller room such as a home office, workshop or smaller bedroom.

In terms of everyday usability the unit has a straightforward remote control, clear on-unit controls, a useful cord tidy and a built-in handle should you need to move the unit around or lift it over a threshold or down some stairs. The unit is rated as 56db so isn’t the quietest unit on the market but is one of the quieter designs.

Unit Details

EdgeStar Ultra Compact AP8000W

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Small, compact design
Cools up to 250 sq/ft easily
Useful built-in handles for ease of portability and lifting
Simple to install and get up and running quickly
Great customer service
Lack of control buttons on the machine mean you NEED to have the remote control to access all the functions
Some issues with water leaking (although this seems to be a manufacturing are transport related fault, not by design)

"Get this great value unit at Amazon.com"

EdgeStar Ultra Compact AP8000W Review: This EdgeStar unit as been on the market for a few years now and has a good track record of providing compact and consistent cooling.

The unit measures up at 24.25 inches (h) x 19.25 inches (w) x 13.25 inches (d). This makes is shorter but wider than other units in the top 5. It cools up to 250 sq/ft and has a dehumidifying capacity of 50 pints per day. The self-evaporation system uses water taken from the air to increase the efficiency of the air con system but also expels most excess water through the outlet hose so the water tank won’t need to be emptied very often in all but the most humid of areas. There is also a direct drain option if you do find you are pulling a large amount of water from the air.

The hose and window unit are simple and quick to install and Edgestar claim you can be up and running for as little as a $1 a day running costs thanks to its built-in energy saving features. The unit is backed up by a 3-year limited warranty for peace of mind.

Unit Details

Whynter ARC-08WB

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

Slim design with clean lines
Two-way directable air flow for optimal air circulation
Dual filters for cleaner and healthier indoor air
4 operating modes for multiple uses - includes 'Auto' mode for increased energy efficency
250 sq/ft coverage - great for smaller rooms
One of the heavier units in its class at 64lbs
Some excess vibration reported when using on wood flooring (note: a spung or rubber mat placed under the unit can solve this issue)

"Please show me the best prices Amazon has to offer just now."

Whynter ARC-08WB Review: Whynter has a great range of portable air conditioners and has had at least one unit in all our top 5 reviews. The all-white design gives the unit an unassuming profile and this look will fit better into some homes than some of the bolder designs.

Its cooling capacity is rated at up to 250 sq/ft and it measures up at x 13.6 inches (w)x 17 inches (d) x 28 inches (t). It weighs 64lbs so isn’t the most lightweight of units but has a pair of built-in handles and 4 roller wheels for easy mobility.

The filter system on the Whyner is excellent, probably the best out of the top 5. They have included a silver-ion coated pre-filter and activated carbon filter to ensure you have healthy and clean indoor air quality.

Unit Details

SPT WA-8070E

Reviewer: Jase Davidson

lightest unit in the 8000 BTU top 5 at only 51lbs
Best value unit in the top 5
Proven and reliable design
Energy efficent with an EER of 8.9
Ecofriendly design with R410A refrigerant and RoHS compliant components
Cream and brown design not to everyone's taste
Draining the water can be awkward

"Get this great value unit at Amazon.com"

SPT WA-8070E Review: The SPT is a solid performer and it’s light weight and great value for money, (probably the cheapest unit in the top 5), have pulled it into list of top units. At 51lbs it’s the lightest air conditioning unit in the top 5. It’s light weight combined with built-in handles and a good set of castor wheels give it excellent portability.

The unit dimensions are 15inches wide x 13.8inches deep x 29.5 inches tall giving it a slim but tall profile when standing in a room. The SPT has distinctive brown and cream coloured casing which is well-built but perhaps not the most modern of designs aesthetically. It has a good energy efficiency rating (for a PAC) of 8.9 and built with environmentally-friendly materials and chemicals to limit its environmental impact.

The 8070E has a long history of good customer reviews on Amazon so you can buy the unit with the confidence that plenty of people before you have loved it!

 

 

 

 

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