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FPR vs MERV: What’s the Difference?

September 02, 2022
FPR vs MERV: What’s the Difference?

Whenever we think of respiratory health, we should immediately pay attention to air filter rating systems.

While we should prioritize a healthy indoor environment, most of us don't give much thought to the air we breathe. Our physical health and well-being are directly affected by the air we breathe.

Adding an air filter to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system may be a simple method to improve the quality of the air inside your home. MERV and FPR are the most popular ratings.

Keep on reading to learn all about FPR vs MERV and the underlying air filter rating standards.

Air Filter Rating Systems 101: How Is the Quality of an Air Filter Determined?

How efficiently it removes contaminants like pollen, dust, and smoke from the air gives an air filter its grade.

The size of the particles that the filter can effectively remove is also important. Particles in the air may be of a wide range of sizes and shapes, but the tiniest ones frequently pose the most risk.

It's possible to quantify how much smaller or larger an air particle is: The diameter of a particle is defined as 0.0625 millimeters as the threshold between "big" and "fine," respectively. On the other hand, not all filters are effective in removing tiny particles.

What Is MERV Filter Rating?

The capacity of an air filter to trap particles with a certain size distribution is quantified by a MERV rating, which may range from 1 to 20. This filter performance rating system dates back to 1987.

This value shows the worst-case scenario for a filter's ability to remove air pollutants with a certain size distribution. When it comes to removing particles as small as 10 microns in size, for instance, a MERV 1–4 rated air filter may do the job.

How High Do You Want Your MERV Rating?

Regardless of the MERV rating, it will be OK. However, the MERV rating indicates how finely the air is filtered. A higher-rated filter may be better at trapping dust and other small particles, but it may limit the airflow.

Air filters with a lower MERV rating, such MERV 1 through MERV 4, aren't excellent at catching particles that small. Larger particles may still be effectively filtered out by using these filters, however.

A MERV rating of 8-11 should be sufficient for most homes. If your HVAC system is compatible with a high-quality filter, then a MERV 13 rating is ideal.

Understanding the FPR Air Filters

"FPR" is an abbreviation that stands for "filter performance rating." The FPR rating of a filter medium, similar to the MERV rating, shows how well it cleans the air. On the other hand, a MERV rating may go as high as 20, whereas the lowest possible score on the FPR scale is 4.

This rating was developed by Home Depot, and although it is not exactly the same as MERV, it has many similar characteristics.

In order to communicate information on the performance of a filter, both the MERV and the FPR use numerical values. On the other hand, each of the four available colors stands for a unique measure of evaluation for the FPR. In this particular scenario, we will be discussing the colors green, red, purple, and black.

FPR Air Filter Ratings: The Home Depot Rating System

Produced by Home Depot specifically for Honeywell filters offered only at Home Depot. The purpose of this rating system is to create a single ranking system, although it lacks concrete numbers to facilitate easy comparison.

The quality and effectiveness of a filter in capturing various particles fall into a range from 4 to 10 using a numerical scale and a color-coded system known as the Filtration Performance Rating (FPR).

A 4/5 on the FPR scale is "Good." It helps keep your house free of allergens by filtering out big particles such as dust, lint, dust mites, spores, and dander from pets.

Next, we have 6-7 on the FPR Scale, which is "Better." It removes allergens such as dust, lint, dust mites, big pollen grains, and pet dander from the air in your house. Additionally, it filters out mold spores, germs, and other tiny particles.

The best of them all is between 8 and 9. It cleans the air of common household irritants such as dust, lint, dust mites, spores, and dander from animals. You can also rely on it to take care of smoke, pollution, allergies, and other virus-carrying particles.

FPR Score: 10 (Premium)

In addition to all of the particles we've previously mentioned, you can rely on this air filter rating to get rid of pollution, allergies, smoking, and even certain virus-carrying particles.

Odor-causing particles may also be removed using high-quality filters. In short, it's great when it comes to enjoying all the health benefits of high-quality air filtration.

3M Rating system: MPR Ratings

The Microparticle Performance Ranking, or MPR, is 3M's very own ranking system for air filters. Its purpose is to provide the idea that 3M's air filters are better than those manufactured by its competitors.

The MPR scale ranges from 100 all the way up to 2200, which encompasses an extremely diverse range of filtration efficiency levels. This grading system is pretty comparable to the MERV scale in its use.

Should We Care About Filter Ratings?

Irrefutably, yes. According to the above, 3M and Home Depot are the official sponsors of the MPR and FPR systems, respectively. The MERV rating method, on the other hand, is used everywhere, making it simpler for homeowners to compare filters.

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale is the standard by which all air filters' performance and efficiency may be measured and compared.

Using the MPR or FPR systems is only beneficial for those specific brands. When shopping for a new air filter or just trying to narrow down the options, the MERV scale might be helpful.

What About HEPA Air Filters?

The High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter is the "gold standard" of air filtration since it removes 99.97% of all particles from the air.

Engineers rate HEPA filters by the size of the particles they are able to catch, and this grade encompasses both big and tiny (or fine) particles. Particles as fine as 0.03 microns stick to a HEPA filter at a 99.97 percent efficiency rate. That's a lot smaller than a "big" particle, by comparison.

These particles are even tinier than human hair by a factor of roughly 30%. It's no surprise that high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are so effective in reducing allergy and asthma symptoms.

What Does the Rating Mean?

HEPA filters, in contrast to MERV and FPR filters, do not have numerical ratings. Technically, HEPA filters must have a MERV value of 12 or above, which implies they remove 99.97 percent of airborne particles.

Due to their efficiency in filtering out allergens like dust and pollen, HEPA filters are ideal for households with members who suffer from asthma and other respiratory illnesses and are commonly used in air purifiers. HEPA filters are also utilized in hospitals, airplanes and clean rooms in factories.

Air Filter Rating Systems for Home

Once you've narrowed down your search to residential filtration systems, you'll want to take a look at two ratings, the FPR and MERV.

Thankfully, you can explore these right here in our FilterTime selection.

FPR vs MERV: Which Rating System for Air Filters Should I Use?

Different air filter grading systems provide different benefits, and it might be difficult to make direct comparisons between them.

While there are a number of methods for determining an air filter's quality, MERV is widely accepted as the gold industry standard. Companies often develop specialized rating systems, such as MPR and FPR, in an effort to differentiate themselves in the eyes of their target audience.

The ratings given to air filters by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) program are universally recognized and respected.

n general, homes may benefit from using any of the aforementioned filter rating schemes. Each describes the air filter's performance and offers a comparative metric based on its rating.

Whether you go with the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), Minimum Performance Requirement (MPR), or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (FPR) scale, you'll want to get an air filter with a grade that's suitable for your home's specific needs.

Having pets and allergies automatically excludes you from using a low-quality air filter.

FPR vs MERV vs MPR: Simplified

Three different ratings, MERV, MPR, and FPR, all evaluate the same quality: a filter's ability to remove particles from the air. Each one was created by reliable and experienced organizations. And they may all be trusted to accurately evaluate the performance of various air filters.

We hope that our guide has helped you make an informed decision when it comes to the FPR vs MERV debate. Next step, you'll want to check out our simplified purchasing process, as we'll walk you through buying the right filters for your home and much more.

With FilterTime’s air filter subscription service, you can keep the air in your home in optimal shape, year-round. Once you subscribe, the right air filters will get shipped to your doorstep automatically so you’ll know exactly when to change them. Since there are no shipping charges, contracts, or hidden fees, you have nothing to lose. Get started today!

Contact us with any remaining questions you have and to get help choosing an air filter.

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