The burning time on incense varies. It depends on the quality of the incense. Most of the sticks and cones burn around 15 minutes to an hour. But there are some brands out there that are made to last longer – 3+ hours. You can shop around.
In my own home I use resin incense. It’s basically pebbles of resin that have been infused with the oil of a particular fragrance. The heating element is a charcoal briquette that you light much like charcoal for a grill. It has a flammable agent mixed into to it to disperse the heat evenly. Once it’s hot you can sprinkle as much or as little as you like, depending on how long you want it to burn and how much frangrance (smoke) you want to release. One precaution: the brick gets very hot. You will need to have a proper container (brass or some high-heat resistant fired clays) filled with sand and/or lava rock to put the briquette on to ensure a safe burn.
Does it scent the whole house? Not really. It would depend on the size of your house, whether or not the AC or Furnace is on (air flow) and how much you burn. The scent usually stays in the room with a little notes of it making way into the hallway and adjacent rooms. The scent will linger about a day usually – again, it depends on air-flow, etc.
Sticks or Cones? Same difference, really. They each have there own types of burners (containers). Sticks are usually cheaper. As I said above, I’m a resin user.
My preferred scent: frankincense.
Hope this helps.