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The effect of this dust is that air vents clog up restricting air flow. Temperature inside the computer may rise and the computer may overheat damaging components and causing software freezes and dropouts.
If you have a desktop computer, you should once a year take a look inside and if a dust build up exists, remove the dust with a vacuum cleaner (carefully of course). You should particularly inspect the fan that sits on top of the CPU for dust build up (see picture below). You might have already noticed that the CPU fan seems to run faster and louder on hotter days than it did before. This could be because the dust in the cooling vanes is restricting air flow and the fan is not as effective in keeping your CPU cool. There are three ways to clean the dust off the CPU:
The picture to the right shows the build of dust in the heat sink which sits on top of the CPU. If this heat sink clogs badly with dust, the CPU may overheat and be damaged.
If you have a laptop, it is not a good idea to disassemble in order to remove the dust. In this case try to dislodge the dust from around the fan by using a can of compressed air, usually costs around $10. Yes, fairly expensive, but much cheaper than a dead computer.