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 5/19/2014 6:49 AM
The best way to save money is to stop spending money! There are lots of ways to spend less money on everyday things you don’t have a choice about though. There are lots of things in your house that may be using up far more of your money than you realize.Electronics for example can use up varying amounts of electricity even if they’re not being used. If you have things that you don’t use on a regular basis, it is actually a good idea to leave things unplugged. There are some gadgets you can get to monitor what is consuming electricity in your house but you can generally look up in the manual or online for electronics you leave running or anything you have question about.Another area you can save money in the house is in water consumption. Appliances have become extremely efficient… but we have not! It is shocking how much water we use on a regular basis in brushing our teeth, taking a shower, even going to the bathroom. Heads are available for all faucets and showers that can provide the same feel of water quantity...
By Laura on 5/12/2014 5:45 PM
Spring comes quickly and so does growing season if you like your flowers. If you don't manage to plant bulbs during the suggested time, go ahead and plant them as soon as you can. The suggested time is right after a frost but bulbs can be planted later if you're timing isn't perfect.Tulips, narcissi, hyacinths, and crocuses are usually okay to plant later as long as they have been kept cool. Eranthis, Erythronium, Eremurus, Trillium, and Anemone on the other hand have to be planted early or they likely won’t bloom on time in the late fall.Pansies are an easy plant to get in the ground and they do very well in the cooler time of the spring and produce beautiful colours. Yellow trillium is an early spring plant that loses its flowers and marbled leave foliage by June. If you have a shaded garden, Snowdrop Anemone are a beautiful bright flower that pops up in clusters and they’re one of few flowers that have been known to make a second appearance in fall when the weather starts to cool off again.If you like the...
By Laura on 5/5/2014 7:45 AM
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.

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