When homeowner Tommy Tsoungos approached his good friend Frank Tsaltas, owner of Astoria, New York-based F&T Mechanical, about installing a heating system in his new home in the Little Neck neighborhood of Queens, New York, Tsoungos knew he was serving up a challenge for his friend. And when Tsaltas suggested a radiant heating system, Tsoungos was immediately onboard.
“Frank Tsaltas is a good friend of mine,” Tsoungos says. “He said, ‘This is the best and I suggest it — you’re going to have heat all around the house, and it’s high-efficiency.’”
A tall order
Not only did Tsoungos ask for radiant heating across all four levels of his home — from the basement through the finished attic with each level measuring 2,400 square feet — he also wanted radiant heating in his garage as well as a snow-melt system under his driveway and all sidewalks of his corner lot.
It was a tall order, to say the least, but Tsaltas, who has been installing radiant heating systems since 1993, wasn’t deterred.
“I came up with the idea to put two boilers in the house instead of one,” Tsaltas says. “I did the plumbing calculations based on my experience. I did the entire plumbing, heating, and radiant heat.”
Tsaltas chose a pair of Viessmann Vitodens 200-W B2HB boilers and a 120-gallon Viessmann Vitocell 300-H EHA 450 indirect water heater to provide heat and domestic hot water for the home.
Viessmann “is a very reliable boiler,” Tsaltas says. “It’s the only item in the market that has a lifetime warranty for the indirect water heaters.”
In addition to two boilers, the spacious new home has seven radiant heating zones. Other installed equipment includes Viessmann Cascade Controls, Taco circulator pumps, Roth radiant tubing, Spirovent air separators, tekmar snow-melt control systems, and more; see the sidebar for a full list of equipment.
And if the scale of the installation itself were not enough to make it stand out, Tsaltas took it a step further by creating a “V” for Viessmann out of the system’s piping in the mechanical room.
“I wanted it to stand out,” Tsaltas says.
A happy customer
Tsoungos has gone through two heating seasons with his new radiant system so far and has nothing but positive feedback.
“We have used it last winter and this winter, and it has worked perfectly,” he says. “We’re happy with it.”
Perhaps his favorite part this past winter, however, was the snow-melt system.
“The neighbors are jealous,” Tsoungos says. “One neighbor asked, ‘Why do you not have snow but we have snow?’ It worked out exactly as [Frank] said it would.”
The success of the installation has spread by word of mouth, and now, one of Tsoungos’ friends is also exploring radiant heating.
“I have a friend of mine who is a builder who is converting to this system, too,” Tsoungos says. “It works amazingly well. We’re happy.”
The large-scale residential radiant installation at the Tsoungos home spans all four levels of the home — from the basement to the finished attic — and includes the following equipment:
- Axiom Tank for Snow Melt (100% antifreeze) Model# 30PSI MF200
- Viessmann Boilers (two) – Model# Vitodens 200-W B2HB 57 part number 7554704
- Viessmann Indirect W/Heater 120 Gallons – Model# Vitocell 300-H EHA 450 with a lifetime warranty
- Viessmann Cascade Control
- Viessmann Low Loss Header 3” Model: #300/200
- Viessmann 3-Way Mixing Valve
- Taco Pumps (Circulating pumps) (Models: 0010, 0011, 0012, 0014, 0017, 2400-50)
- Taco Expansion Tanks (heat & domestic) (BX-42 & CX-125)
- Taco Heat Exchangers (two), Model: #665 175,000 Btu
- Taco Zone Relays (two), 12 Zones of Heating Model: SR-506
- Roth Radiant Tubing & Snow Melt Model (1/2” and ¾”) Duo-Pex
- Roth Manifolds (Radiant & Snow Melt) Model: Stainless Steel ½” and ¾”
- Spirovent Air Separators (two) Model: 3” HV & ½” Spirotop on every manifold
- tekmar Snow Melt Controls (two) for two separate snow-melt zones
- All domestic copper and black pipes, along with Victaulic Heating Couplings High Temp.
- Heating Couplings High Temp. Model: #809
- Taco 1” Mixing Valve for Domestic Model #5124 High Flow