The Breakdown: MERV vs. MPR vs. FPR

Air Filter Ratings

When it comes to your home’s HVAC system, there’s enough jargon and enough complicated, unfamiliar words to tie your brain in a knot. Then consider the fact that there are three different types of HVAC filter ratings, and you might wish you never had an HVAC system to begin with. Well, maybe that won’t be the case, but we want to take some time to explain a few of the key differences with you. 

If you’ve spent any time shopping around for new air filters for your furnace, you may have come across a few different acronyms – MERV, MPR, FPR. You might’ve seen these abbreviations before, but what do they all mean? Each of them stands for something different, but they essentially mean the same thing.

Breakdown of the Performance of Different HVAC Filter Ratings

MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value)

This is the primary rating for air filters in the heating and cooling industry both domestically and internationally. As a matter of fact, the MERV rating system is the only rating system that is nationally regulated. It was established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). It measures a filter’s ability to trap and hold particles and other airborne pollutants such as dust, pet dander, mold spores, etc. It runs on a scale of 1-20 and calculates a filter’s success rate in regards to capturing particles of certain sizes. To put things into perspective, the lower the MERV rating, the fewer particles it captures, and vice versa.

MPR (Microparticle Performance Rating)

If you’ve taken a look at any air filters produced by the 3M brand, chances are you’ve seen the letters M-P-R. Similar to MERV ratings, this system rates air filters based on their ability to capture airborne particles, but the twist is that they must be smaller than 1 micron. The MPR rating system is able to capture airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. If you are wondering what level of air filtration you need for your furnace, this system will come in handy while comparing filters. The lower the MPR, the less able the filter will be to capture air particles, and vice versa.

FPR (Filter Performance Rating)

This system was developed specifically for The Home Depot and only pertains to brands sold in their stores. The FPR system uses a color code and number scale that is very closely related to the MERV system. It uses a scale of 4-10 that rates the quality of your HVAC filter and its ability to capture air particles.

Contact Rusk Heating & Cooling

Rusk Heating & Cooling understands that performance ratings can become confusing. We want to help you choose the right type of filter for your home. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for more information about HVAC filters, performance ratings, or any other HVAC-related questions. 

If your Cincinnati, OH area home is ever in need of HVAC or indoor air quality services, give us a call. From heating installations to air conditioning repairs and beyond, Rusk Heating & Cooling offers a wide range of HVAC services. Contact us today to schedule service with one of our heating, air conditioning and indoor air quality experts.