Hot Furnace Duct

I am looking for ways to improve efficiency and have noticed that the ducting coming directly from my furnace is extremely hot to the touch. It's hot enough to burn if the finger is left there.
My first thought was that I need to insulate this, but then I started to wonder is this is normal (my first house). Does this indicate an overheated or overworking furnace? I have one room closed off if that makes a difference.
The furnace itself is about 30 years old. So, should I insulate this pipe or look for reasons why it is so hot? Thanks in advance.
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<< Does this indicate an overheated or overworking furnace? >>
Before making any judgements, learn more about furnace parameters by reading DIY books, tomes on HVAC, whatever you can find at your library, box store or whatever. For example, many furnaces operate with bonnnet or plenum controls that cycle between 140 and 180 dgrees F.
<< ducting coming directly from my furnace is extremely hot to the touch. It's hot enough to burn if the finger is (sic) left there. >>
Since the body can tolerate temperatures only around 140 degrees F your ducting may just be near the normal upper limit. If your research doesn't answer your concerns, call in a qualified tradesman for a system service and let him know up front that you would appreciate learning more about your heating plant. Be aware that his time is money and will be reflected in your bill. Be a gacious host and offer a danish and coffee before he leaves. Good luck.
Joe
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Call the manufacturer about your model and ask, measure the temp inside first. There is a proper operating range , to hot is not good for the heat exchanger. Reducing airflow to a room or improper ducting will make it hotter. Mine run just warm but I added extra ducting and have a 2 stage. A clogged air filter can raise temps
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Is it a round pipe coming off the front of the furnace?

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This is Turtle.
If you have the vent pipe for furnace vapor to go out the roof. NO . Now if it is the vapor vent for the fire chamber to say it will buirn your hand does seem to me to be too hot. It will be hot but not to blister your hand with just a 15 seconds or so on it. It would not bew a bad thing to have the burners cleaned and the gas pressure set to see about this for if it is over firing. It is costing you big time in fuel bills.
If you have a real duct work for the air flow to each room, Yes you need to find out why they are so hot. The Ductwork to each room air pipe should never burn your hand or get too hot to hold your hand on it.
TURTLE
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