It's like a vehicle. Yes; they are designed to be outside in the weather.
But they seem to do better if they are kept in a garage or under cover.
Washing with fresh water is a good idea. A few times a year is OK. Although if you live near the ocean or a chemical plant then maybe every week would be more appropriate.
Covering the TOP of the unit in the non-cooling season to keep out debris is generally a good thing. Do not cover the entire unit all the way to the bottom - air flow though it will keep it dryer and that is a good thing.
Originally Posted by waruna01
The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.