Eyed by D: Why do fans turn off automatically after 6 hours in Japan? – Gaijinhan

Eyed by D: Why do fans turn off automatically after 6 hours in Japan?

Hi, this is D, I’m back! This time, with something that caught my attention.

This fan.

WhatsApp Image 2018-07-16 at 14.45.55

It looks like a typical fan, nothing special, except maybe for the fact that it comes with a controller, which according to GJH, is useless because his apartment is so tiny, he can reach the fan easily wherever it is placed in the living area, lol.

Anyway.

The peculiar thing about this fan is that it mysteriously turns itself off after 6 hours. Initially, I had thought it was some timer setting that GJH just never got to figuring out, hence the auto-off. However, if you look carefully…

WhatsApp Image 2018-07-16 at 14.45.55 (1)
Ignore the Korean word that reads sung-pong-kee; that’s how he learns Korean, lol

It truly states ‘6時間自動切’ which means ‘auto off in 6 hours’.

To me, a Singaporean, I found it baffling because why would I want a fan that forcefully automatically stops working after 6 hours? If I am using it at night while I’m sleeping, I’d be pissed if I woke up hot and sticky without the fan (obviously I sleep more than 6 hours).

So I did a bit of research and interestingly, there’s actually such a thing called fan death.

Koreans actually believe that using the fan in an enclosed area for more than 6 hours can result in death caused by hyperthermia, hypothermia, as well as asphyxiation. The general concept is that fans just circulate the same air in the room, hence either over heating the room, or over dropping the temperature, or simply causing an excessive concentration of carbon dioxide in the room. This is of course, not backed by science and according to Wiki, it states it as a Korean superstition, though it also stated the possibility that this is a myth perpetuated by the government to curb energy consumption back in the 1970s.

This is pretty much the only explanation I could find for such an odd setting on the fan but my doubt remains because, well, GJH bought his fan in Japan. It is meant for Japanese so how did a Korean superstition lead to this decision in the manufacturing process?

I did some further digging on Amazon (to see how they promote the fan features) and I realised that it isn’t really an ‘odd’ feature because several other brands also sell fans with auto-off setting. The best explanation I can come up with is that Japanese has this setting not out of fear of fan death but rather, out of fear of energy wastage. Should owners leave the fan on while they are out, at least the fans will off by itself.

Still, though, isn’t 6-hours-auto-off inconvenient for sleeping overnight with the fan?

Would you buy such a fan and appreciate such a feature?

Till then,
D.

 

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