Living on a crawl space

I’ve always lived on a basement and the house we just bought has a crawl space. We were all set to encapsulate until I talked to a floor guy (hardwood throughout the first floor needs refinishing) and he has made me think twice.

Anyone live on a crawl space and have thoughts about venting or not, encapsulating or not? We are in Central VA so we get cold winters and humid summers.

that sounds so different from up here in Ontario.

we mostly have full basements, some are fully finished, some are not.
My house (built in 1857) had a basement with field stone walls, and the dirt floor at some point was cemented.

It was always damp, but that was due to having a HUGE cistern down there.
The oil furnace and the water heater lived down there. and on one memorable occasion, a young skunk. (not for long. )

When you say cold, how cold is cold? The first winter I had my farm, the average night time temp. from Dec. through to March was -42.