Agree that wiping them down and keeping your windshield clean is good practice, however your opinion about any wiper blade lasting for "years" is pure fantasy. If you live in a place with a lot of sunlight (UV Rays) or Snow and Ice....you'll be lucky to get 12 months out of a cheap set of wipers.
Since it's winter time.. I do not recommend using conventional style wipers if you live in area where it snows/ices. Conventional style wipers will accumulate ice in the blade housing and you'll be basically wiping your windshield with a stick of ice. Also scratches your windshield. Use hybrid/beam/winter style wipers for the winter instead.