How do I know if I need to replace my windows?

10 years ago

We live in a 1966 colonial in CT. Our wood/paned windows are original to the house. This is our first home and 3 children later, we're planning on moving in a year or two (we've lived here 8 yrs). Forgive me, I have very little knowledge re: windows but how do I know if they need to be replaced? This is a huge expense and I'm not sure we would get most of our $ back when we sell. Yes, they are drafty. But my biggest concern is that pieces of the putty(?) that goes around the glass & muntins are chipping off in chunks ~2 inches at a time. When I washed the windows from the outside of the house pieces/chunks were coming off with every wipe of the window on the sides of the muntins but the muntins themselves are intact and are not rotting. Is that something that can be redone and perhaps we could paint the windows and they would look & function ok? I have also noticed that the wood part around the entire window (casing?) is looking shabby too - hard to tell if it's actually rotting or just needs to be scraped and repainted. I hesitate to get a quote from a window guy because I have a feeling they will tell me 'of course you need new windows' just to sell me the windows. Opinions?

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