Some of the others were on the right path. Try and clean everywhere you can. Any vent with canned air. Take something like a wire tie and place the tip into the vent for the fan(s). If you find that the tip is hit, the fan is running. This may not tell you if the fan is not running correctly. Some main brand laptops have two fans, if one is not working, the laptop will overheat.
Using a cooling pad is not the best path. You have treated the symptoms but not the cause. If your handy and not afraid to check your computer, go on line and find the service manual for your model. Find out were the fan(s) are located and inspected them. I started working on laptops just last year. The only big difference is that all of the parts may not be replicable. Some are directly attached to the motherboard. In most cases and if you laptop is several years old, I would not recommend replacing the motherboard because technology had soared since you bought yours. You are paying a fair price for old technology. If your parts are replicable, and most fans are, I would invest in a fan(s) sooner rather than later. Heat is one of the BIGGEST killer of laptops. The other is dropping and damaging beyond repair.
You can find fans on Ebay and many online laptop parts stores. Sometimes they are new or may be removed from working computers. If you buy from Ebay, look at the approval rating from the store/seller and if they have a high rating, order the fan(s) you need. If you have one bad, I would replace both. Just think this way. The fans were the same age when installed. Unless you have abused your computer, the other may go out soon. By replacing both, you might not have to repeat this operation a second time.