Your ability to hear is independent of your ability to transmit... so yes, changing transmit power won't change that. How is your squelch- I like to be just right of the verge between static and silence, that way I am most open to inbound transmissions. And I wouldn't worry about heat too much unless you get really long winded, you won't generate excess heat just listening, nor would you on brief transmits.
As for listening to the repeaters, again you should be able to hear them if you dial in the right frequency, the tones & other settings are again only for transmitting.
Maybe you & DaveIT need to set up a geek night to test some stuff out...
82 fj40, 99 uzj100, 06 gx470
05 525EXC, 01 XT225, 09 TTR125, 07 TTR90, 07 CRF50