A ceiling fan remote is a great thing to have, even though it causes a lot of confusion. Although it is convenient, people ask if they can, or should use both to control the fan.
For the most part, a remote switch is used when there is only one power supply coming into the fan.
In other words you don’t have separate switches to independently operate the fan and the light kit. The remote makes this possible. The remote switch is connected inside the ceiling junction box and is controlled with a hand held or wall mounted unit, and allows you to turn the fan and light on-or-off at your will. If you don’t have a remove and don’t have separate switches, you will have to use the pull chains hanging down from the fan.
The confusion comes with using the remote and the pull chain. Don’t use the pull chain if you are using a remote. In many cases, a customer will call saying that the remote doesn’t work anymore and they even replaced the batteries. The problem is usually that someone pulled the chain and turned off the fan. The pull chains usually have graduated speeds: low, medium, high, and off. You want the pull chain to be on it’s maximum setting, and then use the remote. The only problem is when someone pulls the chain which will move the setting from maximum to off, then the remote won’t work.