The max pressure is intended to be used as the maximum pressure that the tire can safely be used at, which would imply hot. As we have found though, tires can safely be used at much higher pressures than recommended by either the placard or the sidewall on the tire. I'd say it doesn't really matter. Try 44psi and see where they end up after the car sits, and after you drive on the highway. If you set them at 44 psi cold, they will go up much higher after some highway driving. If you aren't comfortable with this, you can let some air out. Many people go much higher than this. Definitely don't run any lower than what the placard says cold.