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That seems pretty normal, the heater works by blowing excess heat from the engine coolant. So the coolant has to be warmed completely for the heat to work, you can get a heater that plugs into your cigarette lighter that will heat the vehicle instantly.
Make sure your radiator is full of coolant, if it is low the heater core cant get enough hot coolant in it to keep the air warm. If that's not the poroblem it could be a problem with your air exchanger that switches from hot to cold which could be a vaccume line leak. But I bet you're just low on Coolant.
No. There are no heater control valves of years gone by. And if the water pump was not pumping the engine would run very hot. If the radiator is full, and the thermostat is working, the heater hoses should be hot, and the problem could be a faulty blend door under the dash. The blend doors direct air thru the heater core and the ac evaporator as well as the vents.