Insulation for this old house (mine)

I need to add some insulation to a two story house with a metal roof. I am starting from the attic because seems to be the most needy. Access is difficult, so the insulation has probably to be blown up.
Have checked Lowe's and Home Depot but they only carry some stuff that looks like shredded paper. Is this what I should use or is there a better product?
Also I am confused about the R requirements: It's R38 in my area (SE Texas) with gas or other fuel heat, but the tables at the shop say has to be R49 if you have an electric furnace. I have electric HVAC but can't understand why the R value should be different.
Art
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blown cellulose (yes it looks like shredded paper) is the way to go in an attic. not sure why fuel source would make a difference (unless they are calculating the payback period) but whatever the case, why not blow in R 49 as long as you are going to the trouble. Carpenter wrote:

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My first reaction was also to go for R49 while I was doing it, but it takes 15" to reach that R value with cellulose? marson wrote:

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i don't have that number in my head, but 15" sounds about right. should say on the bag. instead of measuring the depth in the attic, i like to go by square footage. if you know the square footage of the attic, you can purchase enough insulation to fill the area to R 49. say 50 bags. then divide the attic into say fifths, and blow 10 bags into this space. in this way you will get an even distribution. if you go by depth, you will wind up at the access blowing it three feet deep at the end or you will run out. note also that th 15" is a settled height. you'll need a little more than that to allow for settling. Carpenter wrote:

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Good tip. Thanks!!! marson wrote:

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