i only use my stereo on sundays for 6 hours. i recently started to put paper towels above the air vents on my pre amp tuner and power amp to keep the dust out. i have a mcintosh mx132 and mc602. is this a bad idea? i know heat is the worst enemy for electronics but i don't play it loud anyway!
"Do you find your nude audio equipment...vaguely 'suggestive'?

PEBTTAC....Problem Exists Between TurnTable And Chair.

Just kidding with a recycled 'puter pun.....sub TT with K(eyboard)...;)

Am I making myself clear?

Better yet, contact the manufacturer of your components and ask them.  There is a reason they built slots for ventilation in the component(s).  Covering them up, whether that be on the top, side, or bottom, is going against the grain of the engineering built into each of those units.  I promise you, that is what you will hear from them.  
Time for a Darwin Award- surely paper towel/ filter will only not do damage if there's forced ventilation ie fan. Just put a dust cover over when you're not using stuff and take it off when you are. Mind you I suppose covers can cause scratching on the outside- surely a case of common sense.....
Even if you don't listen loud, the pre-driver and driver transistors are biased high enough to produce significant heat. This heat will continue to build over time during your listening period without sufficient ventilation. The heat sink design for these transistors, most likely NOT mounted on the output transistor heat sinks, will cause ALL components to get quite hot thus lowering their life expectancy.
You should leave amps on all the time. What stresses them is turning on and turning off - the surges in the system which reduces their life (I am talking solid state here - I know nothing about tubes). Many preamps and most phono stages have no on/off switch because of this.

If you have an exceptionally dusty environment, maybe get some type of air purifier, although will create noise in the background, which we all hate.