When it comes to air filtration, it can be difficult to understand the difference between the Filter Performance Rating (FPR) and the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). The FPR is a numerical scale from 4 to 10, with a color-coding system, designed by The Home Depot for brands that sell in their stores. The US conglomerate 3M created the microparticle performance classification (MPR), which uses high numerical values to represent filter efficiency. It measures how well an air filter can capture particles smaller than one micron.
The MPR is useful when trying to filter specific airborne particles, but it isn't always the best indicator of a filter's quality. This is where the MERV rating comes in. The MERV is the standard in air filtration and is a reliable system. It measures the same characteristics as the FPR, but it uses a numerical value from 1 to 16. When buying an air filter at Home Depot, trust in its FPR rating.
If your air conditioning system is compatible with high-quality filters, opt for one with an ideal MERV rating of 8-11 or 13 if possible. Change your filters regularly even if they have great ratings as this will ensure optimal air quality in your home. To help you compare the FPR and MERV ratings, we've included an FPR to MERV chart and a MERV to FPR chart. This will make it easier for you to convert MERV to FPR and FPR to MERV.