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 filter rating systems 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. MERV, MPR, FPR – what do they all mean? Find out below: If you’ve spent any time shopping around for a new filter for your furnace, you may have come across a few different acronyms. Each of them stands for something different but they essentially mean the same thing.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the performance ratings:
MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value)
This is the primary rating for filters in the 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. 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 (Micro-Particle Performance Rating)
If you’ve taken a look at any filters produced by the 3M brand, chances are you’ve seen the letters M-P-R. Similar to MERV, this system rates 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 filter and its ability to capture air particles.