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Ventilation is important for the preservation of a desktop computer since most of the computer parts within the case generate heat. There are usually multiple devices such as fans and heatsinks inside your case that are working hard to keep a stable temperature to avoid overheating or crashing.
There are also steps that must be taken outside of your computer case to keep the system at a healthy temperature as well. If you keep your desktop in a computer hutch or cabinet of some kind, that area needs to be properly ventilated. One of the fans in your system needs to draw cool air in to regulate temperature while hot air is expelled. However, if the surrounding area outside the computer case is poorly ventilated the front fan will just suck hot air back into the case and your system will surely overheat.
The ideal environment for your desktop PC is one where there is sufficient airflow so that the air can remain cool outside. Enclosed cabinets with no circulation will cause your machine to overheat as if the components were generating twice the normal amount of heat. If a cabinet or hutch was not designed specifically for a computer you should probably look for an alternative location.