“ Brand: Prestige - Energy: A - Width: 54.5cm - Height: 84.5cm „
Two days before Christmas Eve 2009 my fridge suddenly stopped working. With a house full of food and visitors due to arrive imminently I had to get hold of a new fridge and quickly! I really had no choice but to buy the first fridge that I could find in stock that fitted my general requirements which is how I ended up with the Prestige PRT130LS from Comet.
===Choosing The Fridge===
The space that my fridge had to fit in was just about 55cm wide, many fridges were wider than this so I was very pleased when I spotted that this fridge was only 54.5cm wide but unfortunately that wasn't the exact measurement which I didn't realise until I got it home. I like the appearance of Stainless Steel appliances so I decided that I didn't mind paying extra for the stainless steel finish as it would complement my freezer. Since I already owned a large freezer I wanted a larder fridge (i.e. one that does not have an ice box) which further cut down my choice. Having found a fridge that seemed the right size, the right colour, the right type and was actually in stock for me to go and collect I decided to head straight to my local Comet to pick it up. I am not sure how much I paid but the current selling price is £299 which seems very expensive to me and I am certain that even in my panicking pre-Christmas state I would not have paid anywhere near that much so I presume it must have been on some sort of offer.
Luckily I have a large 4x4 so I was easily able to get the fridge in the back to transport it home. The instructions said that it had to be left upright for 24 hours before using to allow the coolants to settle. I must admit that I didn't leave it the full 24 hours although I did leave it overnight whilst I kept all of my perishable food in the boot of my car (luckily it was cold outside!). The back of the fridge is flat so it is easy to push back and the lead was quite long.
I immediately liked the colour of the fridge. It has quite a dark stainless steel finish with a slightly matt surface which looked attractive and classy. Unfortunately I took an instant dislike to the handle. I hadn't studied the pictures very well and hadn't realised that the handle is attached to the side of the door and sticks out about 6cms. I think this looks unattractive and since I seem to be prone to catching my leg on it I often end up with a bruised thigh. Due to the way the handle is attached at the side it actually projects further than the end of the fridge which makes it wider than its stated dimensions. This is only about three quarters of a cm but unfortunately in the space I have it means that the handle catches very slightly on the cupboard door next to it and if I am not careful the door sometimes doesn't shut fully. The word Prestige appears in shiny letters on the front, within a few weeks on having the fridge the letter P started to peel away and my kittens then couldn't resist it and they jumped at the letters persistently until they had pulled all of the silver off, my fridge now has the word Prestige in the front in a pale grey glue-type finish which is impossible to clean off and looks a bit tacky. I think the badge should have been more robust. I have read various reports of the doors developing rust marks but I have had no problems at all and if it wasn't for the failure of the badge decal I would say the surfaces still look as good as when I first had the fridge.
===On The Inside===
The interior layout of the fridge looked very good on first appearances. The shelves are glass with plastic around the edges and they looked lovely and bright. The fridge has 3 adjustable glass shelves and also one shelf that sits above the salad drawer. The door has a deep bottom rack which easily accommodates 4pint milk containers and then an open dairy shelf which has two height setting which I tend to use for margarine and jars of jam as it is just the right depth and then at the top there is another rack which has a cover over it. I believe when I got the fridge this had an egg tray in it but since I never store eggs in those trays I removed it and now use it for general storage. All of the racks and shelves on the door are transparent plastic as is the salad drawer.
I have found all of the shelves and racks on the door to be very robust and I have had no problem with the door dropping when the door has been heavy with food, juice and milk.
===Day To Day===
Although I really loved the appearance of the glass shelves I have found that I don't actually like them very much in use. The one above the salad drawer in particular seems to always have lots of condensation on it which drops onto the vegetables. No matter how often I dry it I will always find it soaking wet when I next open the fridge. I am sure this reduces the freshness and the longevity of the vegetables and salads that I am storing.
Although I dislike the look of the large handle it is very easy to grip and even if my hands are wet or greasy it is easy to open the fridge door and then the handle is easy to clean. It does not harbour crumbs like the indented handles often found at the top of appliances.
The drainage hole at the back of the fridge seems to get blocked frequently and I often have to fiddle about to clean it out although there is never any obvious blockage but I just find water sitting in the back of the fridge. Whenever we have tried to pull the fridge out to check the drip tray at the back there never seems to be a problem so I am not sure why it seems to block.
The temperature adjustment control is on the right-hand side near the second shelf. It is very easy to knock when moving things in the fridge and I have woken to find milk that is so cold it sets my teeth on edge because I didn't notice that it has been knocked around to the coldest setting. This seems to be a common problem with a lot of fridges and I do wish manufacturers would make the dials a little firmer to turn to prevent this accidental adjustment.
The manufacturers sate that the door can be swung either way and I can see some covered holes where you would be able to attach the handle on the other side but reading the information in the manual it looked very tricky and although I would have preferred the door to hinge the other way it seemed like a big task so we decided to manage with it how it was which is with the hinges on the right as you look at the fridge.
I find the three adjustable shelves very useful and I do find that this is quite a cavernous fridge. I seem to be able to fit far more food in than I could in my old fridge even though it is the same size. Prestige state that the net capacity is 4.6cu.ft (6 gross). I am happy that the temperature seems to be maintained well. Occasionally I find that the back wall freezes but that is usually if I have overfilled it so I think that is probably my fault as I know that really I should leave adequate air-flow around the items for the fridge to work properly.
This fridge seems to be very quiet when it is running. I am hardly aware of any noise at all from it.
Unfortunately cleaning the fridge is one of those dull jobs that we all have to do at some point to maintain good kitchen hygiene.
I find that the glass shelves seem to pose a bit of a problem for cleaning. With my open grid shelves in my previous fridge I happily wiped them all over with anti-bacterial cleaner and I was quite sure they were hygienically clean. Unfortunately to clean these shelves properly I have to take them out of the fridge as food and liquids seem to get stuck in the tiny gap where the plastic meets the glass and they require a proper scrub to get them clean. The glass itself also doesn't look clean and sparkly after using the anti-bacterial spray so I have to use other cleaners as well and the rinse and use the spray so that the food doesn't get tainted by any smells from the cleaning products.
The outside of the fridge is easy to keep clean with a damp cloth. I have never used any specialist cleaners on it and it still looks as good as new. Sometimes I have just used general kitchen cleaners on the outside and they don't appear to have done any damage either.
All of the racks in the door are easy to remove; they simply lift out and can then be easily washed in the sink.
===Buy In Haste, Repent At Leisure?===
I really don't know whether I would recommend this fridge or not. It has some really positive points; it is spacious with good shelving and storage, the colour is nice, it is quiet and it maintains a good temperature. However the cheap and nasty name badge has left me with a tatty looking door, the handle is intrusive and the condensation at the bottom is enough to drive me insane. I think that for the price there are probably much better models on the market.
Cooling Type / Short name: Prestige PRT13