Totem Appliance Service Blog - Vancouver, Calgary, Fraser Valley

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Stay tuned for appliance repair information and interesting appliance topics
By Laura on 3/24/2014 6:58 AM
You would think that quality would be the most important factor when purchasing a product but the results of extensive testing worldwide might surprise you! Not to say that quality isn’t important but it seems at least with appliances that consumers feel manufacturers put enough concern into making quality products that they don’t feel MORE concern needs to be put into the quality of the products.

A study in the United States, China, Germany, and India was conducted to find out what consumers’ opinions were on the quality in products. The products in the study ranged from food to high-tech consumer goods.

In regards to appliances, the study showed that consumers don’t feel a significant increase in quality has been present in new appliance products. However, this is consistent with consumer perception of all other products throughout a wide range of consumer goods.

One topic that has been really popular lately is that of smart appliances, so the study had a section devoted specifically to...
By Laura on 3/17/2014 7:30 AM
Two years ago Electrolux applied for a trademark on the term “smart oven”. About that time, the term “smart” was starting to become the popular phrase for an appliance with intuitive features capable of syncing to a network or other devices so Electrolux tried to beat the curve and get the rights to the term. They also applied for other similar terms but other companies immediately jumped in and made similar applications for trademarks using the “smart” term.

The legality behind trademarks is either boring or intriguing depending on how you look at it but the bottom line is that as long as the term “smart” is still being used, companies will continue to fight for the rights to the term.

The good news for consumers is that so long as the battle is ongoing for the term, companies will continue to make more and more clever appliances to keep them worthy of the title and could end up producing some impressive features that will filter through the lineups of appliances.

By Laura on 3/10/2014 7:18 AM
Economics is somewhat of a mystery to most but you don’t have to be a professor in the subject to be aware of how poorly markets are doing overall in the world these days. In the midst of a dwindling economic environment, there is a glimmer of hope in one market at least. Asia is showing a great deal of potential buying power.

It has been said that the consumer class in Asia is experiencing “explosive growth”. A class in Asia that formerly had little to no buying power is coming into expendable income which makes for a huge buying market in this region of the world.

Appliances are a commodity that most of us in first world countries take for granted but where most of Asia is relatively impoverished, many do not have the luxury of in-home clothes washing appliances. With the increased income this will change quickly and manufacturers are taking notice. Appliances are being custom built to meet the needs of the regions they will be getting used in.

Just to put things in perspective, Asia contains...
By Laura on 3/3/2014 7:28 AM
There are so many different styles to choose from when deciding how to design a room in your house. We have spent a lot of time in kitchens since there are so many appliances in this room. We have heard a lot of stories about what people love and what they hate in regards to the design and appliance placement.

One thing to absolutely keep in mind if you are remodeling a kitchen is to always separate heating and cooling appliances as much as possible. If you put a stove right next to a refrigerator for example, your refrigerator will work overtime to deal with how much hot air is coming off the stove.

As for design, there are so many options available these days. One that has been really getting traction due to how many possibilities there are is glass countertops. The glass used is so impressively strong that there’s almost no concern for breaking and the design possibilities are endless. It can be cut, molded, coloured, painted, etc. to absolutely anything you can imagine.

Here is a page...
By Laura on 2/24/2014 8:19 AM
Many of us remember tape cassettes quite well and some even remember record players and maybe even A-tracks.  As is the way with technology, pretty much everything becomes dated within weeks and moves to dinosaur status given enough years.

One thing that has stuck around for a very long time is the traditional incandescent light bulb. It has been a slow progression phasing out 75 watt and 100 watt light bulbs but it is about to become illegal to manufacture or import.

This means consumers have the sole options of halogen, led, or cfl bulbs. Halogen bulbs are the most similar to incandescent but are still more expensive. Clf bulbs and led are siginificantly more expensive than incandescent. Cfl bulbs as we mentioned in an earlier article are very efficient but contain mercury and can NOT be disposed of as they are toxic to the environment. Leds are highly efficient and have a lifetime of ohhh about a decade but you pay a substantial cost up front. They are said to generate a savings of around 70 to...
By Laura on 2/17/2014 7:16 AM
Stickers can be a major shock when you go to look at a new appliance. There are usually tons of them and the numbers and words on them don’t all make sense unless you’re the one writing them. One sticker that stands out on appliances is the big yellow ENERGYguide sticker. This label shows the estimated energy that an appliance will use in a year based on averages for common households combined with the energy efficiency rating of the appliance.

One of the convenient parts of the sticker gives you an average cost for the appliance usage within a year based on national averages for the fuel or electricity costs. This way you can get an idea of how much the appliance will cost you throughout the year.

Another neat diagram you will find on these labels is a bar scale. It has a range of efficiencies for appliances in the same range and shows where that appliances falls on that scale.

This label displays the energy electric appliances use with kWhs(kilowatt hours). This is what power companies...
By Laura on 2/10/2014 8:48 AM
If you’re looking for a new appliance or even just doing research because you’re curious, you’ll notice there are a lot of stickers on appliances and electronics that may make no sense. Well then this blog is for you!

Of course anything you buy is going to have the manufacturer’s sticker on it which will have the manufacturer name and brand stickers as well as any features or proprietary functions specific to that product so we can’t hit all of those on here but we can tell you the common ones that you will see on most appliances.

One of the most common stickers you’ll see is generally present on all appliances. Quite frankly, if it isn’t, you should be cautious. “UL” stickers are the stamp of the company Underwriters Laboratories which is an independent safety science company that has been around since 1894 trying to set standards for safety around the world. They are most known for their electrical device standards but there is almost nothing they don’t do at this point with over 20,000 product...
By Laura on 2/3/2014 8:37 AM
If you have any cotton clothes that you wear often, you’re probably familiar with the pills that end up on the clothes in spots where they rub. Under the armpits, on a shoulder you carry a bag on, under your arm sleeves where your arms lay on a desk are common places to see pills. There are several options for getting rid of those pills such as lint shavers, combs, razors, etc. All of these methods risk cutting the fabric but if you’re careful they will generally all remove the pills. Keep in mind that you are cutting the fibers of the fabric so the more you do it, the thinner the material gets and the more susceptible the fabric is to pilling even more.

Unfortunately, the only real solution to preventing pills is to either stop it from rubbing or to not wear it. Not wearing the item isn’t a realistic solution but if you really like a garment, then only wearing it when you really want to isn’t a ridiculous option. Also, you can try to cut down on wear spots by not wearing a strapped bag over the...
By Laura on 1/27/2014 12:40 PM

If you’re new to the area or want to keep up to date with what’s going on in Vancouver, take a look at the city’s website for some current news as well as a bunch of places in the city you may not have been to yet:
By Laura on 1/20/2014 11:35 AM
Resolutions generally aren’t a big hit since most people feel even more depressed if they don’t live up to them. However, I do know many people that have stuck to them and changed their lives forever, so I refuse to believe that they never work. I can tell you that the most common resolutions that succeed are ones that are realistic. “I’m going to change the world” or “I’m going to lose 50 pounds and go into the Olympics” quite frankly are absurd and I don’t know what I was thinking.

If you want to make some changes in your life, then start with a small goal and you can set another goal when you reach the first. For example, I want to have a healthier diet this year but I know if I say “NO MORE FASTFOOD” that I’ll be lucky to last a month before I completely blow that resolution and start eating even worse out of shame… again.

A realistic version of this is to try to plan meals ahead so you can think through what will be in a meal and realize what is healthy in it and what isn’t. If you’re like...
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