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Release the Kraken! — The Ductopus Is Bad for Air Conditioning


Just a quick little post today to show you the new image I put together. Last year I wrote an article about a type of duct system that's just a complete mess. A lot of home energy pros call it the ductopus. It's just a radial system installed without any real design behind it. The ducts all radiate off of the supply plenum and the air flow is often pretty bad.

When I published the article last year, I included my favorite ductopus photo, one that I took in 2006 here in the Atlanta area. When my wise guy friend from Connecticut, John Poole, saw it, he remarked, Release the Kraken! This weekend, it suddenly struck me that this would be perfect for one of those photos with captions that are so popular on Facebook, so I turned it into one.

release the kraken hvac ductopus monster energy vanguard

What do you think? Feel free to download and share it if you like it.

By the way, John is more than just a wise guy. He's a historical preservationist who lives in (and works on) a very old New England house. He also writes an interesting blog called A Preservationist's Technical Notebook about that topic and more. Check it out.


Thanks much for the Krakeny kred, Allison! And very nice poster. Frankly, I bet you've got enough material for a whole series of great home performance posters like this one. There are no Krakens in my own cellar, BTW, though there are a number of other things living down there :-)
Posted @ Monday, July 09, 2012 9:37 AM by John Poole
John P.: You're welcome! I didn't realize it was 'Krakeny kred' I was giving you, but I'm glad you like it.
Posted @ Monday, July 09, 2012 10:58 AM by Allison Bailes
182 years ago Tennyson's poem found The Kraken "battening on huge sea worms in his sleep", dreaming of Grade I Insulation compliance and awaiting the day that global warming brings him hollering to the surface -- 
"Below the thunders of the upper deep; 
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,  
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep 
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee 
About his shadowy sides: above him swell 
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;  
And far away into the sickly light,  
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell 
Unnumbered and enormous polypi 
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green. 
There hath he lain for ages and will lie 
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep, 
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep; 
Then once by man and angels to be seen, 
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die." 
Posted @ Monday, July 09, 2012 1:39 PM by Bob Seaton
Since you're giving permission, I'll feature it on my next Journal of Poor Homebuilding.
Posted @ Monday, July 09, 2012 6:08 PM by Erik North
Hmmm...I'm thinking there might be a place here on this blog for poetry parodies inspired by home performance and energy efficiency... 
"I wandered lonely as a batt..." 
Posted @ Monday, July 09, 2012 6:36 PM by John Poole
Sad thing is he has more $$$ wrapped up in material than if he did the job right...
Posted @ Monday, July 09, 2012 7:29 PM by Bob
I saw something very similar to this in a new house under constuction here in the south. The system was located in the attic,verical install with a lot of the ductwork running right under the roof with no insulation under roof decking.
Posted @ Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:18 AM by Jim
Holy ____! I thought my system looked like Rube Goldgerg designed it. Mine looks great compared to this! The best way to kill this monster is to find it's creator & lop off both his hands.
Posted @ Thursday, June 12, 2014 5:46 AM by Seth
this reminds me of a very old house that had a furnace without a blower .relying on convection for the warm air to travel in the duct work which happened to be very large i think i remember seeing a 10 in pipe feeding a small bedroom .My boss at the time had been around a very long time and told me yes it looked awful but people living with systems like that loved them and swore it was the most comfortable heat you could imagine !
Posted @ Thursday, October 30, 2014 6:52 PM by richard
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