Normally for a fan, they run the red, black, white, and plain copper wire from the switch to the fan junction box. The wire is called a 14-3, 12-3, etc, where the first number is the gauge (how thick the wire is) the second number is the number of wires not including the plain copper ground. For a simple light you have a 14-2, 12-2 wire as all you have are the black (hot), white and ground. For a 3-way switch (ie two switches that can control one light) 14-3 or 12-3 wire is also used.
For a fan the black would control the fan and the red would control the light or vice versa. This being the case, the red wire in your situation probably does nothing. This should be verified by how the switch is wired.
Flip the breaker, check the back of the switch. If you can, take a photo.
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