Single phase IMs have been widely used in home appliances such as fans, pumps and so on because they are directly driven by commercial AC power supply. However, the motor efficiency is very low because the rotor winding and auxiliary winding generate large copper loss. Therefore, in this research, a novel single phase switched reluctance motor (SRM) which is directly driven by commercial AC power supply is proposed as an alternative for single phase IMs. The proposed drive system is consisted of only a half bridge diode rectifier and the motor structure enable the SRM to achieve continuous torque and start up. The performances of the prototype single phase SRM are verified by experiments, the results show that the efficiency and output power of single phase SRM are higher than that of single phase IMs.