There are components inside the computer that generate significant amounts of heat. The cooling system can be as simple as a fan or two and heatsinks with a path for air to flow through and carry the heat away. Heatsinks are usually pieces of metal attached directly to the component that generates heat. The metal pulls the heat out of the component and the air passes over it or through a set of fins. The ambient temperature inside the computer needs to be low enough for this cooling method to be effective. Since hot air is removed from the case, outside air comes in through vents, usually located away from hot air exhaust. They need to be kept uncovered. Fans that blow the hot air out of the case also need to be kept uncovered. Otherwise, the hot air remains in the case and the components can no longer be cooled properly. The life of heat-sensitive components may be shortened if they remain too hot for too long. Properly cleaned and cooled computers can last a very long time!
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