“ Brand: Prestige / Type: Energy Efficiency: A / Drawers: 8 / Volume: 200L + / Dimensions: H: 175.2cm / D: 63.4cm / W: 59.5cm „
I needed a large upright freezer for the family and came across this one being sold cheaply on eBay. It was apparently only a year old, but the buyer said it had a fault in that the warning light on the front was continually flashing, even though the temperature seemed to be correct. After doing some research at Comet (who were still selling this model) I suspected that it would just need the alarm to be reset by pushing the front button. So I bought it from eBay for an absolute knock down price in double digits (compared to the current £569.99 brand new cost) because I suspected others were put off by the fault. Got it home, pushed the reset button and hey presto, the warning light went out. The freezer was clean, no marks, fully working - so an absolute bargain.
So what do you get with a Prestige freezer? Well for a start, it is very roomy with 11 cubic feet gross capacity. It is worth noting that gross capacity when quoted normally means take all the drawers out and how much you can get in the space totally filling it up (rather like filling it full of liquid). Obviously putting the drawers back in and what you can physically get in will very much depend on how good you are at packing the drawers, and this is know as net capacity which is less than gross and for this freezer, that is quoted as 8.5 cubic feet. So it is worth noting the difference between the 2 capacities when comparing freezers etc to ensure like for like comparisons.
But this freezer is particularly good and cavernous with a range of drawer sizes. In total there are 8 drawers ranging from a very shallow one about 3 cm deep at the top, with 5 large ones at 16 cm deep through to 2 very deep ones at 21 cm deep where you can get a whole turkey in. Each drawer is clear plastic so that you can see the contents without the need to pull the drawer out.
It also has an A rated energy efficiency and most importantly it is frost free. Outside it has a very stylish brushed steel finish with a green digital display on the top of the front panel and controls for super freeze and temperature up and down. You also have that red warning light which warns you when the temperature has risen above a set level. As I discovered, this can be reset simply by pushing the super freeze button. Overall size wise it is 175.2 cm high by 59.5 cm width by 63.4 cm depth. So overall, it is cavernous, stores loads of food and looks good.
When I originally bought the freezer, I couldn't find many reviews on it, although I noted that Comet were selling it as a 'Best Seller' at the time. Of those reviews that I did find, there seemed to be mixed opinions, but some of the negative ones seemed to be centred around it having erratic temperature fluctuations. So after getting it very cheaply, I setup a separate temperature sensor that was rigged into my weather station to monitor the situation and sound an alarm if the temperature rose too much.
I set the temperature on the freezer to -18 degrees, and the remote sensor tended to register it as running between -15 and -19.5 degrees when I monitored it over a few months or so. It seemed that the freezer motor runs, gets the temperature down to about -19.5 and then stops and allows it to warm over time (many many hours) to a little above -16 (defrost cycling?) and then start again to bring the temp back down to below -18 degrees. You wouldn't normally notice it doing this because the LED temperature setting on the front panel always reads -18 degrees. I only noticed it doing it because of the remote sensor, and I know that a similar thing happened on an old Hotpoint freezer (that was also frost free) that I used to have and monitor. So it may well be the same process across other freezer models.
All that said, for about 6 months everything ran well. Then about a year ago I did have one problem where the temperature rose to about -9 degrees for no apparent reason and wouldn't drop again. Searching around on the internet, and speaking with a few repair people I thought it might have been a problem with the compressor being iced up for some reason - interesting when this thing is meant to be frost free. So I took all the drawers out of the freezer and unscrewed the panel (held with 14 screws) at the inside back of the freezer to access the compressor towards the bottom and sure enough it had quite a lot of ice on it and the drain hole was frozen and blocked with some frozen food. Put a hair dryer on the lot, melted the ice, cleared the drain hole and within 15 minutes had the drawers back in and the freezer running again, probably saving myself something like £80 in repair bills.
For a year, everything ran well again until recently, the same thing has happened again. This time I noted that we put a load of shopping in and as a result, the temperature increased to about -3 degrees as expected. We closed the door, put the super freeze button on and 24 hours later, the freezer just wouldn't go lower than about -9 degrees. Did the same routine again to clear the ice from the compressor, set the super freeze on again and all of a sudden, the freezer runs great again and was down to -18 within 12 hours. Looking on the internet, this sudden temperature rise issue and not being able to hold temperatures seems to be a common theme with this model.
I so want to give this model 5 stars because it does look good, is cavernous and holds loads of food in clear drawers, and has an A rated efficiency. But this temperature issue does seem to be a common reoccurring theme experienced by many for this model. OK, I can quickly recover the situation by melting the ice on the compressor with a hair dryer (pretty straight forward process as described above), but I shouldn't need to do that with a freezer than is only a few years old, and at a price slightly more than other (better?) models, it really shouldn't be happening at all.
So it only gets 3 stars (just) from me.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
Cooling Type / Short name: Prestige PRT22