If you own a central air conditioner, it’s important to check your filters often – at least once a month during peak cooling season – and to change disposable filters when they’re dirty.
That’s because a blocked air filter can cause your air conditioner to overwork, which will set you back far more than the replacement cost of a filter in the form of higher bills, more cooling system repairs, and a shorter life for your A/C equipment.
When it comes time to buy your replacement filter, however, you might find the process a little (or more than a little) confusing. It’s always good to start with the cooling equipment owner’s manual to get a list of approved filters that work with your equipment – but even then, you’ll run into a series of acronyms that may complicate your search.
Don’t worry, we’ll help you sort them out.
Air Filter Acronym 101
Three common terms you might hear when shopping for a replacement filter for your HVAC system are MERV, MPR, FPR. Each term describes a filter system designed to clean your home air, and each uses a scale to define the size of the filter holes (higher numbers = finer filtration). The only difference among the three systems is who manufactured them:
- MERV, or Minimum efficiency reporting value, is a measure developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); MERV ratings range from 1-20.
- MPR, or Micro-Particle Performance Rating, pertains only to products developed by the 3M company; typical MPR ratings range from 300 to 2200.
- FPR, or Filter Performance Rating, is a filter rating system developed by Home Depot for the brands sold through its stores, including Honeywell; it uses a 1-10 rating scale.
Converting MERV, MPR and FPR values
Need to find an equivalent filter rating for one system versus another? Here’s a handy conversion table of MERV, MPR and FPR ratings for common residential usage (higher-valued filters are often used in hospitals and operating rooms, but are not necessary for home use):
|MERV rating||MPR rating||FPR rating||Removes|
|6||300||N/A||Lint, dust, pollen|
|8||600||5||Dust mites, mold spores|
|11||1000-1200||7||Pet dander, smoke, smog|
|13||1500-1900||10||Bacteria, virus carriers|
Did you know that an annual air conditioning tune-up from Burt’s Reliable includes a filter change – along with a thorough testing of your entire home cooling system? Contact us today to learn more about our expert air conditioning service in Long Island’s North Fork and East End.
Please note: at Burt’s Reliable, your safety and comfort are always our priority. Please see our COVID-19 Service Update Page to learn more about how we are working to keep you and our crews safe and your home comfort systems working during this challenging time.