Filters can be complicated to understand. Some HVAC systems have the recommended type of filter written on a label that is stuck right on the side of the unit. Other systems leave it up to you to decide what filter you want to use. With all the different sizes available, thicknesses, and types, it’s easy to get confused. On top of it, there are acronyms on the filters that are also part of a filter’s rating system. We’ve talked before about MERV ratings, what they mean and how it relates to the filter you buy. But there are two other acronyms that appear on some filters as well: MPR and FPR. This confuses things even more. What do they stand for? How do you make sense of them all when comparing filters? Is one more efficient than another?
MERV vs. MPR vs. FPR Rating
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Developed in 1987 by ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning), the MERV systems provides standardized ratings consumers can use to compare the effectiveness of the different air filters available. It provides clarity to what level of filtration can be expected from an air filter with a specific MERV rating. In other words, this means that any MERV 8 rated air filter will filter the same as any other filter with a MERV 8 rating.
MERV ratings (ranging from 1-16) score the performance level of a filter in regards to the removal of airborne particles from 0.3-10 microns in size. A micron is the measurement used for airborne particles. One micron is 1/1000th mm which is equal to 1/25,000ths of an inch. The human eye can see particles beginning around 20 microns; however, in perfect conditions, it is at times possible to see particles as little as 10 microns. To put that into a visual, a dot (.) is just about 600 microns.
The MERV system is the only nationally regulated and independent filtration system.
MPR stands for Microparticle Performance Rating. This rating is exclusive to filters that are manufactured and sold by the home improvement brand 3M in partnership with Filtrete. These filters serve the same function as all other filters – cleaning the air being brought into your HVAC system of allergens, dirt and debris before returning the air back into your home.
MPR ratings (ranging from 300-1900) also gauge the size of the particles they will remove from the air, but only from 0.3-1 micron in size. Filtrete (3M) filters are the only filters that carry the MPR rating and there is currently no independent third-party testing available for comparison to MERV rated filters.
FPR stands for Filter Performance Rating. This rating is also exclusive, but to filters that are manufactured and sold by the Home Depot. Unlike MERV and MPR ratings, the Home Depot does not supply a size range for the particles these filters will remove. Instead, filters are assigned an FPR number (such as FPR 10) for the particle removal measurement.
FPR ratings range from 4-10, with FPR 4 being economy filters and FPR 10 being premium filters. The Home Depot does provide a guidance chart to compare the contaminants the filters will remove; however, FPR ratings to not clarify what a large particle is versus what what a small particle is. Home Depot brand filters are the only filters that carry the FPR rating and there is currently no independent third-party testing available for comparison to MERV rated filters.
US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units
The biggest difference between these ratings is the makers of the filters themselves. Just remember, the most important thing when choosing an air filter, regardless of rating, is that it is compatible with your HVAC system. No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly in order to keep your indoor air quality clean, your unit running at its maximum efficiency, and your energy costs down. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filters available and all are labeled with the nationally regulated MERV rating. US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!
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Selecting the filters that are just right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.