A Comprehensive Guide to Air Filter Ratings

1December 2023

A Comprehensive Guide to Air Filter Ratings: MERV vs. MPR vs. FPR

When it comes to selecting the right air filter for your home or commercial space, you’re likely to encounter various rating systems, including MERV, MPR, and FPR.

These acronyms can be confusing, making it challenging to determine which air filter will best meet your needs.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll demystify these rating systems and help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Air Filter Ratings

Air filter ratings are essential in assessing the filtration capacity of filters.

These ratings indicate the filter’s ability to capture different sizes of airborne particles.

The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter is at capturing particles such as dust, pollen, smoke, pet dander, hair, odors, bacteria, and even airborne viruses.

  • MERV Air Filter Ratings

MERV, which stands for “Minimum Efficiency Rating Value,” is an officially regulated rating system in the United States.

Developed by the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers), the MERV rating system assigns a value to a filter’s ability to capture air particles and pollutants.

MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, with higher values indicating better filtration.

However, it’s important to note that extremely high MERV ratings, such as above 13, can lead to increased system backpressure, potentially affecting your HVAC system’s efficiency.

  • MPR Air Filter Ratings: Microparticle Performance Rating

MPR, or “Microparticle Performance Rating,” measures a filter’s ability to trap particles smaller than 1 micron. MPR ratings range from 300 (Basic) to 2800 (Premium), offering a more detailed assessment of a filter’s performance concerning microparticles.

  • FPR Air Filter Ratings

FPR, or “Filter Performance Rating,” was created by The Home Depot for filters sold in their stores, including popular brands like Honeywell. This rating system uses a scale from 4 to 10, with color codes to indicate a filter’s quality and its ability to trap specific particles.

  • FPR 4-5 (Good): Filters out large particles like dust, lint, dust mites, larger pollen particles, and pet dander.
  • FPR 6-7 (Better): Filters out large particles as well as small particles like bacteria and mold spores.
  • FPR 8-9 (Best): Filters out large and small particles, including smoke, smog, allergens, and some virus-carrying particles.
  • FPR 10 (Premium): Filters out large and small particles, including odor-causing particles.

Which Air Filter Rating System Should You Choose?

Selecting the right rating system for your air filter can be a bit challenging, given the different advantages each system offers.

While MPR and FPR have their merits, MERV is considered the industry standard for air filter ratings and is the most widely used system.

MERV ratings are widely understood and trusted, providing a reliable basis for selecting the right filter.

In comparison, MPR and FPR ratings are often associated with specific brands and lack the universal recognition of MERV ratings.

They were primarily introduced by certain companies to create a unique selling point for their filters.

Comparing FPR vs. MERV Air Filter Ratings

If you’re torn between choosing FPR or MERV-rated air filters, it’s essential to understand how they align:

  • FPR 4-5 is similar to MERV Ratings 6-8.
  • FPR 6-7 aligns with MERV Ratings 8-11.
  • FPR 8-9 corresponds to MERV Rating 11.
  • FPR 10 matches MERV Ratings 13.

Comparing MPR vs. MERV Air Filter Ratings

For those considering air filters rated by MPR compared to the MERV rating system, here’s a handy comparison:

  • MPR 600 equals MERV Rating 8.
  • MPR 1000 equals MERV Rating 8.
  • MPR 1200+ equals MERV Rating 11.
  • MPR 1500 equals MERV Rating 11.
  • MPR 1550 equals MERV Rating 11.
  • MPR 1900 equals MERV Rating 11.
  • MPR 2200 equals MERV Rating 13.
  • MPR 2800 equals MERV Rating 13.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does MERV stand for in air filter ratings?

MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Rating Value.” It is a nationally regulated rating system that assesses a filter’s ability to capture air particles and pollutants.

What does FPR stand for in air filter ratings?

FPR stands for “Filter Performance Rating.” It is a rating system established by The Home Depot for filters sold in their stores, including popular brands like Honeywell.

What does MPR stand for in air filter ratings?

MPR stands for “Microparticle Performance Rating.” It measures a filter’s ability to trap particles smaller than 1 micron.

How does FPR compare to MERV ratings?

FPR ratings can be roughly compared to MERV ratings, with specific equivalencies based on the FPR and MERV scales.

How does MPR compare to MERV ratings?

MPR ratings also have corresponding MERV ratings, allowing for a direct comparison between the two rating systems.

What is the best MERV rating for a home AC system?

The ideal MERV rating for your home AC system depends on your specific needs.

Generally, MERV 8, MERV 11, and MERV 13 are common choices for residential HVAC systems.

In conclusion

Understanding air filter ratings is crucial for maintaining indoor air quality and optimizing the performance of your HVAC system. While MERV is the industry standard, MPR and FPR ratings offer unique advantages.

Choosing the right rating system depends on your specific requirements and preferences. If you have more questions about air filter ratings, our filter experts are here to assist you.

Contact us today or explore our selection of replacement air filters by MERV rating to find the perfect filter for your needs.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Always consult with a qualified HVAC professional for specific recommendations regarding air filters for your system.

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