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Treating for coronavirus: Heat disinfects the entire structure

by Tommy Underhill
March 17, 2020

The CDC has presented interim guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in facilities with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease. These guidelines suggest timing and location of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. I’ve written previously on the potential persistence of the novel coronavirus on fomites, and I support the CDC’s directions for topical disinfection. The CDC guidance feels a bit like a health professional telling us that once we’ve washed and sanitized our hands we don’t need to worry about the infectious transmission from our sneezes or coughs.


A more thorough disinfection: especially in the hidden places

The GreenTech Heat process provides a more thorough disinfection throughout more elements of a structure. The engineered application of heat allows building owners, health preservation staff, environmental remediation, and maintenance teams to disinfect the entire structure in one coronavirus heat treatment—including the HVAC system.

It is imperative to disinfect the HVAC system concurrently with the rest of the structure. Failure to disinfect the entire structure leaves the potential to agitate, recirculate, and reintroduce virus particles in the HVAC system back into and throughout the occupied portions of the structure.

There is the potential that all the work disinfecting the obvious surfaces in the occupied portions of the structure will be recontaminated once the HVAC system is turned back on. The HVAC can disburse dried virus particles back on to fomite surfaces.


Steps to take

During a microbe-focused heat 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.

Removing the contaminated filters prior to the heat treatment exposes the maintenance team to additional opportunities for contagion. If maintenance plans to replace the used filters as part of the microbial heat treatment process, install the new filters after the viral heat treatment is completed.

Tom Costello, Technical Director at GreenTech Heat, said, “Treating structures with the heat process will slow this contagion without the need to wipe down contents with chemical disinfectants to eliminate fomites on surfaces.” Previous coronaviruses including SARS and MERS could last as long as two weeks in an air-conditioned environment. 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.

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