Coronavirus heat treatment protocol
Updated 8 April 2020
Every living organism has a thermal death point. GreenTech Heat Solutions is a proven technology and application methodology that safely, quickly, and efficiently decontaminates an entire structure and all its contents—including all obvious fomites as well as any contamination in inaccessible or hidden areas—of pathogens and other organisms. The GreenTech Heat Solutions technology has been tested and proven over the course of decades in both the laboratory and the field.
As published in peer-reviewed journals available via PubMed and the US National Institute of Health, specific analysis of two major coronavirus strains found the virus was inactivated in the laboratory by minimum heat levels and exposure times: (click on any study author to be directed to the abstract on PubMed)
- 56˚C/133˚F for unspecified time: SARS-CoV-1 Henwood, 2020
- 56˚C/133˚F for 25 minutes: MERS-CoV Leclercq, et.al., 2014
- 65˚C/149˚F for 1 minute: MERS-CoV Leclercq, et.al., 2014
- 60˚C/140˚F for 15 to 30 minutes: SARS-CoV-1 Darnell & Taylor, 2006
- 56˚C/133˚F for 60 minutes: SARS-CoV-1 Kariwa, et.al., 2006
- 56˚C/133˚F for unspecified time: SARS-CoV-1 Rabenau, et.al., 2005
- 60˚C/140˚F for 30 minutes: SARS-CoV-1 Rabenau, et.al., 2005
- 65˚C/149˚F for unspecified time: SARS-CoV-1 Darnell, et.al., 2004
- 60˚C/140˚F for 30 minutes: SARS-CoV-1 Yunoki, et.al., 2004
- 55˚C/131˚F for unspecified time: SARS-CoV-1: Wang, et.al., 2004
- 75˚C/167˚F for 30 minutes: SARS-CoV-1 Duan, et.al., 2003
- 67˚C/153˚F for 60 minutes: SARS-CoV-1 Duan, et.al., 2003
- 56˚C/133˚F for 90 minutes: SARS-CoV-1 Duan, et.al., 2003
The GreenTech Heat process has successfully been used to decontaminate microbial contamination, including molds, fungi, bacterial, and viral contaminations. Independent laboratory testing has determined the GreenTech Heat equipment and process will sterilize at temperatures up to 250°F.
What GreenTech Heat equipment is needed?
The ePro line of electric heaters will disinfect the following sizes of treatment areas in a ten-hour timeframe: (click on the heater name for additional information or to purchase)
- ePro 400: typical room up to 200 square feet
- ePro 400 and 1 AM4000 fan: typical room up to 400 square feet
- ePro 400 hotel: typical room up to 200 square feet
- ePro 400 hotel and 1 AM4000 fan: typical room up to 400 square feet
- ePro 600: typical room up to 400 square feet
- ePro 600 and 1 AM4000 fan: typical room up to 600 square feet
- ePro 1400: 240V, up to 800 square feet
- ePro 1400 and 2 AM4000 fans: 240V, up to 1,400 square feet, multiple rooms treatable with additional fans
- Titan 450 and 4 AM4000 fans: up to 2,000 square feet
- Titan 800 and 4 AM4000 fans: up to 4,000 square feet
- ePro Thermal Pest Eradication pacakge: up to 5,000 square feet
For treatments in excess of 4,000 square feet, utilize an additional Titan 800 packages for each 4,000 square feet of space. For example, a 15,000 square foot building could require up to four Titan 800 packages for a comprehensive treatment.
Prior to treating, it is imperative to follow the pre-treatment checklist and equipment setup protocols in the Bed Bug Heat Treatment Field Guide.
Before you rush out and blast your treatment area at temperatures listed at the top of the page for half an hour, keep in mind the many differences between laboratory conditions and what we encounter in the field. Firstly, laboratories rarely conduct temperature mortality tests with the microbe below the keycap of a keyboard, placed on the surface of a desk, residing below the fabric surface of a couch or chair, by the latch in a door jamb, within a stack of papers inside a filing cabinet, or hiding in plain sight on a bathroom mirror. Laboratory studies don’t have heat sinks, vinyl windows, or concrete floors.
Laboratory tests generally measure temperature viability with a microbe grown on culture within a sealed petri dish placed inside an autoclave. This is the antithesis of a heat treatment in the field: everything that can be regulated and controlled is.
Many traditional structural pasteurization and environmental remediation projects for mold and bacteria recommend or require filtering of exhaust gases. Be sure to comply with your local regulations regarding exhaust gas filtration.
HEPA certification requires the filter to capture 99.97% of the 0.3-micron or 0.1-micron particles in the air passing through the filter. Treatments with ePro electric heaters recirculate the air within the treatment area and do not exhaust gasses outside of the treatment zone during treatment. Anyone entering the treatment zone must wear appropriate PPE.
Reintroduction requires repeated disinfections
It is important to keep in mind that a disinfection is only efficacious on microbes that are in the treatment area at the time of the treatment. Heat, like sprayed or wiped topical disinfectants, has no long-term protection against any microbe. If your building, waiting room, treatment room, call center, or office is repeatedly exposed by people who have come into contact with or been exposed to the novel coronavirus, the location will require subsequent or follow-up treatments.
Once a week, self treat with heat.
Steps to take
During a microbe-focused heat treatment, it is imperative that all aerosol containers—such as bug sprays, cans of Lysol, cans of air fresheners—be removed from the treatment area prior to beginning treatment.
Be sure to run the HVAC fan (not A/C!) during the heat treatment process to move lethal levels of heated air through the entire system—ducts, fans, heaters, etc. Do not remove the air filters during this stage of the heat treatment—keep the old filters in the heater and allow the heat treatment to disinfect them as part of the coronavirus heat treatment.
A complete and thorough microbial disinfection
The GreenTech Heat process will also provide legitimate peace of mind that the structure is free of viral contamination.
A single treatment with temperatures only slightly higher and durations slightly longer than an aggressive bed bug treatment will eliminate organisms throughout the treatment area. A complete listing can be found in Bed Bug Heat Treatment Field Guide.
GreenTech Heat technology allows you to self-treat with heat for the coronavirus on your schedule and as your needs demand. Our certified training lets you do it right and do it safely the first time. Regardless of whether you self-treat with heat, or contract a heat professional, heat safely kills the coronavirus everywhere it may be found in a single one-day treatment. Call us at 888-699-3944 to get started with heat today.