It’s amazing how much harm a little dust can do. When I woke up this morning I found to my dismay that my desktop PC had turned itself off during the night. On the monitor was a warning stating that my CPU had overheated. EEEK!!!
Naturally the first thing I did after booting back up was install a CPU temperature monitor. I chose Core Temp for the task. After starting up Core Temp I found that all 4 cores were hovering just under 80°C at idle. This is pretty warm for a CPU that is literally doing nothing but since I was running late for work I decided it could wait.
My suspicion was that my thermal paste had somehow cracked and broken it’s seal (I have had this problem before) but I thought I would pop open the side panel and dust her out just to be on the safe side. After brandishing my trusty air duster and expelling the evil dust bunnies from my PCs depths I reevaluated the temps and looked for improvement.
After just about 5 minutes the temp (still idle) had dropped to around 70°C and well into the safe zone. SCORE!!! So the moral of the story is dust can cause your computer to overheat which makes the fans work harder and decreases the life expectancy of your hardware so keep ahead of it.