What Do MERV, MPR, And FPR Mean?

What do MERV, MPR, and FPR mean?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.