Air Filter Buyer's Guide

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What do you need to know about AIR FILTERS?

In this day and age, the benefits of home Air Filtration are innumerable! With tricky terms and industry jargon, it can be confusing. As a smart consumer, you’ll want to know the best way to get started on your own home air filtration and you’ll need to know some basic information first. Fact is, NOT all Air Filters and Air Filtration systems are created equal! We at EVO Filter Supply have made it easy by outlining vitally important steps in determining the best possible system for you! 

FIRST – What do all these TERMS mean?

Before considering an air filtration system, you’ll need to know a few basic Air Filtration Terms (The MERV rating system is a helpful way to describe the capabilities of different large air cleaners):

What do MERV, MPR, and FPR stand for and where do they come from?

MERV = Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Regulated by standards set by ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air conditioning Engineers), every single furnace filter for sale in the US contains a MERV rating. This is the only nationally regulated, independent rating system for air filters.

MPR = Microparticle Performance Rating. The MPR system of ratings was created by and is only used by 3M. Only filters under the 3M / Filtrete brand contain an MPR rating.

FPR = Filter Performance Rating. FPR is a proprietary system developed and used only by filters sold at The Home Depot. They made the switch from MERV several years ago.

 

ASHRAE Standard 52.2

ASHRAE Standard 52.1

Application Guidelines

MERV Rating

Particle Size Removal Efficiency

Dust-Spot Efficiency Percent

Particle Size and Typical Contaminant

Typical Applications

Typical Air Filter Type

0.3 to 1

0.3 to 1

0.3 to 1

20

≥ 99.999

in 0.1 - 0.2 μm particle size

-

< 0.3 μm
Virus (un attached)
Carbon Dust
Sea Salt
All combustion smoke

Electronics manufacturing
Pharmaceutical manufacturing
Carcinogenic materials

HEPA/ULPA Filters

19

≥ 99.999

in 0.3 μm particle size

-

18

≥ 99.99

in 0.3 μm particle size

-

17

≥ 99.97

in 0.3 μm particle size

-

16

> 95

> 95

> 95

-

0.3-1 μm
All bacteria
Droplet nuclei (sneeze)
Cooking oil
Most smoke
Insecticide dust
Most face powder
Most paint pigments

Superior commercial buildings
Hospital inpatient care
General surgery

Bag Filters - Non supported (flexible) microfine fiberglass or synthetic media, 12 to 36 inches deep.

Box filters - Rigid style cartridge, 6 to 12 inches deep.

15

85-95

> 90

> 90

> 95

14

75-85

> 90

> 90

90-95

13

< 75

> 90

> 90

80-90

12

-

> 80

> 90

70-75

1-3 μm
Legionella
Humidifier dust
Lead dust
Milled Flour
Auto emission particles
Nebulizer drops

Superior residential
Better commercial buildings
Hospital laboratories

Pleated filters - Extended surface with cotton or polyester media or both, 1 to 6 inches thick.

Box Filters - Rigid style cartridge, 6 to 12 inches deep.

11

-

65-80

> 85

60-65

10

-

50-65

> 85

50-55

9

-

< 50

> 85

40-45

8

-

-

> 70

30-35

3-10 μm
Mold
Spores
Dust mite body parts and droppings
Cat and dog dander
Hair spray
Fabric protector
Dusting aids
Pudding mix

Better residential
Commercial buildings
Industrial workspaces

Pleated filters - Extended surface with cotton or polyester media or both, 1 to 6 inches thick

Cartridge filters - Viscous cube or pocket filters

Throwaway - Synthetic media panel filters

7

-

-

50-70

25-30

6

-

-

35-50

< 20

5

-

-

20-35

< 20

4

-

-

< 20

< 20

> 10 μm
Pollen
Dust mites
Cockroach body parts and droppings
Spanish moss
Sanding dust
Spray paint dust
Textile fibers
Carpet fibers

Minimum filtration
Residential window air conditioners

Throwaway - Fiberglass or synthetic media panel, 1 inch thick

Washable - Aluminum mesh, foam rubber panel

Electrostatic - Self-charging (passive) woven polycarbonate panel

         

 EVO Filter Supply cautions that air filters given the ASHRAE test "are likely to perform worse than predicted because of various installation conditions."  This is known as the "installation effect." Therefore, it is important to remember that MERV ratings are assigned based on a purifier's performance in carefully controlled testing conditions, and not the "real world." 

 

SECOND - What SIZE filter do I need?

The necessary size is the easiest factor to ascertain! You need only look on the label of your existing filter to see the proper measurements. (Or just measure it yourself) Typically, home air filters are 1” thick.

However, there are numerous standards of width and height dimensions, some systems having thicker or thinner filters. 

(As you’ve likely guessed, the prices of all Air Filters vary. Depending on your needs, one may be more ideal for you than others.) 

MAINTENANCE

Change those air filters! Once you have decided on Air Filtration System, it needs regular maintenance for operation. Replace your filter when required, easy as that! So; become familiar with the replacement requirements of your air filters and system to keep everything running smoothly. Changing your air filters promptly is the best way to ensure that your air is the cleanest, freshest it can possibly be!

 

 

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