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 4/28/2014 5:54 AM
There are so many myths out there but when it comes to kitchen safety, you don’t want to rely on myths. Knives are an important tool in the kitchen and being able to cut through anything you come across is important. That being said, there is a myth that sharper knives are safer than dull ones. Technically speaking, it would be difficult to impale yourself with a butter knife so it’s difficult to imagine a dull knife being able to inflict an injury.

The reality is that if you’re using a knife that’s supposed to be sharp enough to cut through anything but it has dulled out, it is likely still sharp enough to cut skin even if you are struggling to cut whatever you’re trying to. The problem is that if it doesn’t cut well anymore than you are using too much force to get it to cut through anything so if it slips that force can go towards your fingers and cause an injury.

If you are having trouble getting a knife sharp, even over-the-counter knife sharpeners are better than nothing and they are relatively...
By Laura on 4/21/2014 8:29 AM
With the rate people are using their “devices” and watching on-demand tv, it is sad how distant people are becoming from each other in real social experiences. One thing that everyone has to do is eat. Why not make that a family experience? I’m not talking about sitting down and eating together. I mean getting everyone together to prepare a meal. There are lots of fun easy but involved recipes you can find on www.foodnetwork.com, www.fifteenspatulas.com, and recipe collections from http://www.marthastewart.com/967078/recipe-collections.  If you want to set up a family cooking class, check out: http://www.wellseasoned.ca/about-us/school/ for some great cooking experiences in the Fraser Valley area. If you’re already a whiz in the kitchen then it will be a fun experience getting together with local chefs and learning some new tricks and meeting new people. If...
By Laura on 4/14/2014 7:44 AM
Spring is a favorite season for many because it marks the season of new life, warmer weather, and new growth. Vancouver has many well-kept gardens. Roses are at peak bloom at the end of March/ early April. Stanley Rose Garden has over 4,500 hybrid rhododendron and azalea plants.

Whale watching season also starts in March. Spring months are the best to see whales as they are migrating. There are many whale-watch tours here in Vancouver so if you haven’t had that experience, it is magnificent to see such a large creature up close.

Fashion is always a hot topic in spring. Robinson Street or Main street are always flooded with people looking to jump start their spring wardrobes.

If you are into the nature, kayaking is a must. False Creek is a great river to spend some time paddling on if you’ve never been. Kayak tours are also available if you want to be guided to see otters, seals, eagles, and unique fish in Vancouver.

If you prefer a more relaxed spring experience, deck season is finally...
By Laura on 4/7/2014 6:49 AM

The warm months in spring and summer are a great growing season and specific months yield specific fruits and vegetables. If you enjoy fresh food then using those foods as freshly as they are grown can make for some delicious meals! Now that we’re into spring, fresh food is coming into season so why not make the best of it and cook with those ingredients. Here is an article we came across that has a bunch of spring recipes using fresh seasonal ingredients: http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/spring-produce

By Laura on 3/31/2014 10:14 AM

It's hard to believe but spring is finally here! Now comes the fun part of cleaning up and gearing up for summer! Just kidding, I don't think many of us actually enjoy cleaning. There are some ways to at least speed up the cleaning process so here are some tips that we've come across to help make things go faster and more smoothly:

http://housekeeping.about.com/cs/15minutecleanups/ht/15minkitchen.htm

http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/2007Q2/la_0407_spring_cleaning.pdf

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...
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