Window A/C corrosion?

Do window a/c units have to be hosed out regularly? I see corrosion of the case after less than a year, and the fins seem to clog up with algae or something near the wetted bottom. This is in a very hot, salty air environment sheltered from the rain.
I saw some older units nearby, also panasonic, with just shocking corrosion - the fins almost eaten totally away to bare coils (lower ones) and some casing corrosion where the vents were stamped into the sides (stamped after painting, so bare metal is exposed).
Unfortunately it is awkward to hose the thing - maybe a spritz sprayer is possible. I didn't expect this corrosion and worry about algae or whatever messing up efficiency, but no preventative maintence is mentioned in the user guide. Maybe the exposed metal vents in casing should be painted, but probably too late. Thanks for any advice...
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Gott Damb It!
Nuttin' worse than a wetted bottom.......
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On 12/28/2004 5:53 AM US(ET), jt took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Window units should be set so that the back end is slightly lower to allow for condensate drainage. Some other units may have a pan on the bottom that holds an amount of condensation water that doesn't drain. I have drilled drain holes in the bottoms of those. You have a particular problem with salty air, so any condensate sitting in the pan or on the fins, casings, etc. becomes corrosive salty water, even though sheltered from the rain (actually, non-sheltered units would be washed occasionally by non-salty rain water). My former window units (pre-central A/C) lasted for 10-15 years and were exposed to the rain. However, I'm in upstate NY where the air is not salty. I gave all 4 of them to my brother-in-law, and they were as good as new (except for some dents caused by bi-annual handling).
--
Bill

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Sunny Gulf of Florida here One window unit, shady but exposed to rain does clog up the drain with some kind of algae/fungus, clogs drain every two or less yrs .. makes odd fibrous jello like globs - local neighborhood hardware has pills to prevent it so it must be popular globs - one or more of these $0.15 pills needs to be dropped in monthly or so to keep the drain open. I pretty much annually take a hose to the outside and flush every which way trying to keep the salt air corrosion to a minimum. When the drains clog I shove it in a bit and take unroll the hose through the house and flush from the inside after taking some sheet metal loose and man can you see jello then everywhere - hard to get it out.

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