Should I reglaze or replace my windows?

I have a 50 year old house and 50 year old windows. This winter I noticed that the original glazing had been chipping off and the only thing holding some of the panes in place was paint so I resolved to reglaze the windows this spring (no summer). Should I just replace them? They are pretty air-tight and I did not feel much of a breeze coming through them except for the coldest and windiest days of the winter and a lot of that I attribute to the old glazing. Each window has a storm window but the inside window does feel very cold to the touch in the winter so I'm not sure how much they help. I'm trying to weight the cost of replacing the windows with the savings that I will realize for replacing as opposed to the savings I will get from reglazing.
Here's a picture of the window
http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/4526/windowtl5.jpg
What would you do in this situation?
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Replace--- you will save money and have greater comfort

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On Tue, 17 Jun 2008 12:06:25 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Disagree: the payback for replacement is a long time (close to 20 years), and your windows look in good shape. You've got storm windows covering them, and the combination is a pretty good insulator. Not as good as a high-quality (EXPENSIVE!) new window, but very effective functionally and costwise. My 78-year old windows with triple-track storms are doing just fine.

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I noticed the comfort/sound reduction/ energy saving after having half the windows replaced. I had some more done recently and will get the rest done as well. I am likely to be in this house for at least 20 years. Last gas bill during heating season was 30 therms less than the prior year's. This was with half the windows replaced. I expect gas prices to be up so the less I use the better

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On Tue, 17 Jun 2008 11:21:32 -0700, Joe wrote:

I'd look at the cost for replacements. Newer windows will be more energy efficient. Not sure, but you may qualify for a tax credit on some Energy Star purchases. At least this was the case for 2007. Not sure about 2008.
You mentioned a draft on a windy day. If the wind is coming in, heat is going out. You could recover the cost of the windows in just a few years.
I found a kit several years ago consisting of two side tracks and two sashes. I could rip out the old window sash and stops, and install the kit easily within 20-30 minutes a window. What a difference it made.
Newer windows are also double paned and some even have low-e glass.
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I'm also concerned about the heat in the house pushing up against the freezing cold window and decreasing in temp. I've been putting this off because I also need to do something about the 60 year old insulation in my walls that seems to be quite lacking. I'd hate to replace the windows only to start another project of insulating the walls. Seems to me that both should be done at the same time. I'm just not sure which way I should go on wall insulation. Some contractors tell me that blow in is a waste and that I should rip out the inside walls and put in traditional fiberglass, others tell me that I shouldn't bother with the wall insulation and just reinsulate the attic so it's very confusing on what I should be focusing on. Everything I read tells me that most of the heat is lost through the attic and windows but I can't get over how cold some of the walls are in my house in the winter.
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On Tue, 17 Jun 2008 12:48:11 -0700, Joe wrote:

Are you sure there's insulation?
I've owned 3 homes circa 1920's and 1930's: NO insulation. I blew in cellulose and all houses were most comfortable and soundproofed. On a brick house, the material was blown in on the inside to minimize damage to bricks. On the other two, it was on the outside by drilling 2" holes and plugging them. The issue is fire stops also prevent insulation from filling the entire stud cavity.
It may be worth your while to have someone do a thermograph (?) of your building so you can see where the leaks and deficiencies are.
If you plan to stay in your home for many years, what you do now will cost you less than it will 5-10 years from now and you will start to save money immediately with respect to heating/cooling costs. You have to decide. No one else can.
My advice: Go for it and don't look back. Enjoy your house and make it a place to which you love to come home.
I would also check for tax credits and incentives. Does your utility company offer help?
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Energy Star Low e Argon windows will save probably 10-20% on your bills depending on brand and how bad yours are, Attic insulation is most important, if you live in a cold winter area going alot above code minimums is smart. Attics are the cheapest to do, windows and walls cost the most. You need an energy audit done to see what you have and what you can save. This is a Blower Door test that gives an accurate printout of how many air exchanges your home has and how many it should have. The tech will pinpoint air leaks with a smoke stick so you know what to fix. Then a load calculation is done to see where you are now and where you can go with windows and insulation. Many bigger heating contractors have blower door test equipment and should know how to do a load calculation. www.energystar.gov is a good place to start reading.
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Joe wrote:

putting in putty vs. new windows. It would be a good deal of work to reglaze, but it isn't rocket science. I would be inclined to keep the existing windows for esthetic reasons, but fuel costs are the issue of the day.
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Well, I don't mind spending money on new windows but I'm going to feel foolish if my fuel usage stays static with the new windows and the real problem was the walls. How can I find out where the heat is escaping?
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Joe wrote: ...

Follow ransley's advice and get an energy audit. Your PowerCo may have it as a service or the heating fuel source distributor...
If it's a 50-yr old house, it's almost certainly under-insulated by today's standards unless it has been relatively recently upgraded significantly. Of course, you can look at attic, basement, etc., yourself and see what's there. The walls and finding the air leaks, etc., are where it can really help plus a good inspector will spot any unique features of the particular building.
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dpb wrote: ...

I intended to add that if the windows are in as good a condition as they appear from that picture on the outside, I'll venture they're not going to have a very quick payback at all.
I'm virtually positive I'd reglaze and (perhaps) look into higher-quality storms as those appear to be pretty inexpensive aluminum ones as the cheaper and more cost-effective route.
But, the audit will tell you where you're big-ticket items are and how far down on the list the windows are in comparison.
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wrote:

You may not mind but it's still a lot of bucks. If you make the decision to replace that's only 1/3 of it. You need to get good windows AND they need to be installed properly according to the mfgrs specs. Get that in the contract. They won't put it in the contract they they won't put it in the walls.
Had a couple of bathroom windows (oh the moisture!) in a NE house where it gets -25 some winters. Ice so bad you could skate. Enough wind to iceboat on that ice.
I put in a couple of Andersons - windows, window foam, rubber flashing tape, silicone on window wings and final trim...followed ALL the mfgrs steps with no "aw you don't really need that"s. No more ice, no drafts, no cold bathrooms and one happy lady. Now she says the rest of the windows in the house suck. I moved back to NC.
You get good windows with a hack install or visa-versa and you WILL be disappointed.
BTW, being 2x6 walls, the windows required jamb extensions. The Borg does not stock them. Special order to the tune of weeks. Went to local building supply. Special order also. Came in in 3 business days.
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Norminn wrote:

Reputty as needed, fix up or replace the exterior storms, and (if you are feeling ambitious) pull the interior casing, and fill the voids with LOW-expansion foam-in-a-can. (The regular stuff will bend the window frame and jam them shut.) On a windy cool day, check each window with a punk stick or cigar smoke, for air leaks, and fine-tune the weatherstripping as needed.
The above will give most of the payback of new windows, at a much lower price point. I was in a very similar situation, crunched the numbers, and the payback on new windows (including the assumed payback at resale) was way longer than I plan to be here.
-- aem sends....
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Norminn wrote:

Where do you live? Windows and wall, ceiling(attic) insulation is important for energy onservation.
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I'm in Connecticut in a Cape and the 2nd floor is always colder than the first which tells me that my primary expense should be reinsulating the attic - which is a job in itself for a Cape because I need to rip up the ceiling to do it. Just don't know if I have the budget to do that, replace the windows and blow in wall insulation. So I think I'm going to have to do 2 out of 3.
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On 6/17/2008 11:21 AM Joe spake thus:

I'm no expert on windows. However, I can offer a data point for you from a recent job of mine. I replaced a client's windows recently: it was a Marvin double-hung, double-glazed "Tilt-Pak" window with low-E glass. The replacement sashes cost $360 ordered from the factory (drop-in replacments).
If your windows (frames) are OK, I'd seriously consider just re-puttying them (that's what you mean by "glazing": that word normally refers to the glass, not the putty).
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David Nebenzahl wrote: ...

Actually, that is the alternate meaning, not the primary...
Merriam-Webster
Glazing
Function: noun Date: 15th century
1: the action, process, or trade of fitting windows with glass 2 a: glasswork b: glaze 3: transparent material (as glass) used for windows
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